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January 20, 2016

Introducing Japanese Culture in Myanmar

Sumitomo Corporation has been engaged in activities to introduce Japanese culture as part of its social contribution efforts in order to help its offices and Group companies around the world build positive relations with their local communities.

Three of our employees participated as instructors in the Japan Pwe Taw (Japan Myanmar Festival) 2015 held in Yangon, Myanmar in December 2015, giving demonstrations of the tea ceremony and kimono dressing. Co-hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar, the Yangon Japanese Association, and the Myanmar Association of Japan Alumni, this event offered people in Myanmar an opportunity to learn about and even get hands-on experience with various aspects of Japanese culture to enable them to better understand Japan. About 5,000 visitors showed up for the event, far exceeding expectations, and they experienced such traditional Japanese culture as the tea ceremony, kimono dressing, and Bon dancing. Long lines of people awaiting their turn formed in front of the various hands-on corners, and the event even garnered coverage on local television.

On the following day, an event was held to enable Group company employees and their families to learn firsthand about Japanese culture through calligraphy, origami, etc.

Long involved in such activities, Emiko Miyashiro of the Environment & CSR Department remarked, "I was very happy to discover just how interested the people of Myanmar are in Japanese culture. I was struck by how much fun the visitors appeared to be having while participating and I feel it is important to continue this activity in future."

Sumitomo Corporation is convinced that encouraging a deeper interest in and respect for Japanese culture among people in the local communities overseas where it does business and thereby increasing the number of Japan fans will help the company expand its business, and it is thus actively promoting such activities.

Ms. Miyashiro (far right) performs the tea ceremony. Some of the visitors endured numb legs to participate.

Participants in the hands-on calligraphy experience wrote their choice of words. Hesitantly taking up a brush for the first time to write their first kanji characters, they nonetheless enjoyed themselves.

Ms. Ayako Harada (right), Ms. Yuko Tominaga (center), and Ms. Miyashiro participated as instructors. Locally-posted company representatives and their family members came out in force and made the event a big success.

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