As a global organization contributing broadly to society , the Sumitomo Corporation Group is contributing to local communities in areas we do business all over the world. To that end, we are engaging in the following activities.
The "Sankyu Thank You Project" ("sankyu" means "maternity leave" in Japanese) is a maternal and child health project operated by the Japanese Red Cross Society. The Sumitomo Corporation supports this project, which is based on the concept of protecting the lives of as many African infants as there are babies born to our employees each year (approx. 200).
Sumitomo Corporation is engaged in activities to introduce traditional Japanese culture to overseas local communities where it does business. It helps its overseas business sites and Group companies to establish favorable relationships respective local people.
Our proactive engagement in these activities is based on our belief that promoting local interest in Japanese culture will help the Company further develop its business at site.
In 2010 Sumitomo Corporation became a sponsor of a project for training doctors from developing countries, which is promoted and organized by the Japanese Council for Medical Training (JCMT) and operated by Tokyo's Toranomon Hospital.
Summit Inc., a Sumitomo Corporation Group company, runs a supermarket chain that has close links with the local community in which it operates. Taking advantage of this characteristic to further its social contribution activities, Summit hosts cultural events in which food plays a big role. For example, every December since 1990 it has organized the Suginami Hanagasa Festival at Omiya Hachiman Shrine in Suginami ward, Tokyo (where the company's head office is located). This new festival brings together two well-known aspects of Tohoku regional culture: taro potato stew and Hanagasa dancing from Yamagata prefecture. Each year, Summit employees participate and dance in a parade while onlookers enjoy servings of stew and other festive foods. All the donated money raised by the festival is forwarded to the social welfare council of Suginami ward.
With some 20,000 people attending the festival each year, the event has become an early winter tradition for the local community.
Sumitomo Corporation and Sumisho Urban Kaihatsu Co., Ltd., jointly operate the SELVA and the SELVA Terrace commercial complexes, which are situated in front of the Izumi-chuo Station in the city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. The two companies also serve as the secretariat of the Izumichuo Activation Forum, a local body whose membership consists of local businesses and organizations. Every fall since 2000, the two companies have hosted a public event organized by the forum to revitalize the area in front of the station and boost the local economy.
Every year, the event program is creatively enhanced to attract as many shoppers as possible. One year, for example, a Paris-style marche (market) was set up with the cooperation of the local government and local commerce and industry associations. As well as stalls selling farm-fresh vegetables, the program offered a number of entertainments including live performances and talk shows. The event was well publicized not only around the station forefront area but across the city, resulting in its resounding success.
The Izumi-chuo station forefront area is part of a special strategic zone designated by the government. It was certified in September 2016 as an exceptional road area, where regulations on road use are less restrictive. Development work was completed in November 2016, and now we can make greater use of the area as a venue for local residents to get together and as Izumi-chuo’s publicity center for sharing local specialties with the rest of Japan and the whole world.
We will continue to work to revitalize the area around the Izumi-chuo station in cooperation with the local residents.
Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd., a Sumitomo Corporation Group company operated under the brand name J:COM, is the largest cable TV multiple system operator in Japan. Since 2008, every year, it has organized a nationwide community cleanup campaign, CLEAN UP OUR TOWN, with its mission “to nurture trust between the company, its subscribers and the local community, and contribute to a more prosperous lifestyle for its subscribers.” Once a year, the company staff, its subscribers and local residents work together to clean up the public space of communities in J:COM service area across Japan, from Hokkaido to Fukuoka.
Jupiter Telecommunications is planning to further promote the event to involve more participants while enhancing cooperation with local governments and other organizations.
Sumitomo Corporation has been developing industrial parks in Southeast Asia and a number of other areas to support the overseas expansion efforts of Japanese manufacturers from various aspects. It is important that these companies be accepted by local communities and recognized as good corporate citizens in order to ensure a sound environment for business development. Sumitomo Corporation Group believes that it plays an important role in helping companies achieve this acceptance and recognition.
At Thang Long Industrial Park (TLIP) in Hanoi, Vietnam (established by Sumitomo Corporation in 1997), we set up a Social Responsibility Committee made up of representatives of tenants and TLIP to liaise with local people. The Committee also organizes activities to support local education and communication. It collects donations from tenants and purchases pianos and musical keyboards, computers, TVs and DVD players for kindergartens and neighboring villages and also provides a scholarship for local high-achieving students.
Sumitomo Corporation has been supporting Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) since 2008. In Angola, we provide this Approved Specified NPO with financial assistance, office space, and a variety of necessary support by using the local network that we have built up for many years through our operations in that country. Our support has led to JMAS's launch of landmine removal operations in Angola in 2009.
While we will continue supporting JMAS's activities, we will also provide assistance for other initiatives to develop the next generation of human resources, such as donating uniforms and balls to local boys' soccer clubs.
Minera San Cristobal S.A. (MSC), a Sumitomo Corporation Group company, is engaged in silver, zinc and lead mining projects in San Cristobal, Bolivia. In the area of mine development, Sumitomo Corporation sets the principle of "coexistence and co-prosperity between the mine and the local community" and, accordingly, has worked together with MSC to provide the village of San Cristobal, which agreed to relocate for the development, with a range of support to help it develop sustainably in its new setting while nurturing its traditional culture and customs.
For example, in relocating San Cristobal, we built new houses, schools, a daycare center, hospital and hotel for the several hundred villagers as well as developing infrastructure such as power grids, water supply systems, bridges and roads measuring around 160 km in total. With the cooperation of the Bolivian Ministry of Education and Culture and others, when relocating the village, we also completely restored and preserved the village's historic 400-year old church as a cultural heritage property, including preserving a wall painting, silver-plated altar and the church organ. We also carefully moved the giant holy stone that the villagers worship.
Sumitomo Corporation will continue to work together with MSC to further deepen its friendly ties with the local community and contribute to its independence and sustainable development.
In 2004, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) established the Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Foundation to more clearly define the social contribution activities it promotes as a member of local communities and provide more effective support for them. Because foundations are less likely to be affected by changes in economic conditions and business performance, we can continue to contribute about US$500,000 worth of funds each year to different projects in a variety of fields, including Japan-U.S. exchange, research and education, culture and art, and medicine, as well as disaster relief.
In the field of disaster relief, we provide financial support to the American Red Cross Society and UNICEF. We also match donations made by SCOA employees for the recovery of disaster-affected areas.
In the area of Japan-U.S. exchange, we have organized and held Japan Day events since 2007. To support research and education, we make financial contributions to research programs, including studies run by the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia University. To support cultural and art activities, we make donations for research and exhibitions to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. In the field of medicine, we contribute to the development of advanced medicine by providing funding for research and development into treatments for leukemia and other illnesses.
Through the Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Foundation, SCOA will continue to engage in a variety of social contribution activities, including support for relief and recovery efforts for disaster-stricken areas, with the aim of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in local areas.
Since the first Japan Day in 2007, some 40,000 to 50,000 New Yorkers and Japanese expats living in the surrounding areas have joined in with the events held in Central Park. Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) has been continuing to support Japan Day as it fully agrees with its purposes—to provide the citizens of the two countries with opportunities to come together in friendship and learn more about each other—and supports the grassroots manner in which this will be achieved—by putting on events at which local residents of New York can experience Japanese culture.
In addition to its financial contributions, SCOA is actively involved in the planning and operation of events. In 2008, for example, the president of SCOA served as the Director of the Japan Day Executive Committee. Many SCOA employees also volunteer to assist in the organization of this event each year.
SCOA continues to support the annual Japan Day, which serves as a bridge between Japan and the United States.