Our Corporate Communications staff spend time getting to know Sumitomo Corporation's different business sites around the world, reporting on how the people at those sites work. We will keep you up to date with the world of Sumitomo Corporation, which extends to every corner of the globe.
Mass Media Relations Team, Corporate Communications Department
Having been assigned to the Corporate Communications Department upon joining the company in 2009, she has been in charge of mass media relations related to General Products & Real Estate Business Unit and Human Resources department. Every day she deals with media coverage and publicizes company topics. Her experience of growing up in Kobe, Japan and Vienna, Austria enables her speak Kansai dialect and English, however she finds a little bit of difficulty when it comes to standard Japanese. She loves to travel, especially to South Korea.
SAKAUE Co., Ltd. (agricultural production corporation)
Sakaue is a large-scale agricultural production corporation founded in 1995. It focuses on growing vegetables and feed crops in Shibushi, a city in the southeast part of Kagoshima Prefecture, on the border with Miyazaki Prefecture. This corporation focuses on large-scale farming on a consignment basis, develops original pasture forage, computerization of the agricultural process management, etc. It received investment from Sumitomo Corporation (20% share) in December 2010.
Putting great value on record keeping and planning, Sakaue introduced a specialized process management system. President Sakaue said,“When we didn't have computers, we would write everything in a notebook, which we called "a notebook worth 100 million yen.”
Visiting the farming site of Sakaue and listening to the president, I began to wonder why they chose to accept Sumitomo Corporation's investment offer in spite of their sound business conditions. President Sakaue explained, “I came to the conclusion that it was best to learn from others with affluent experience in business management, if we are to upgrade from a mere personally managed company to an ‘enterprise,’ a group of professionals.” To strengthen the organization and expand business, he felt it necessary to work with a company that provides objective management advice and evaluation. Soon after signing the investment agreement, President Sakaue came to Tokyo and visited Human Resources Dept., to inquire about Sumitomo Corporation's human resource utilization and evaluation. He said that he took a lot of cues on the management for Sakaue, for it aims at accumulating know-how by focusing on human resource development and directly employing workers. Attracted to this flexible attitude, the number of new-graduate applicants and applicants in their 20s is increasing.
One of the few large U.S. made corn harvesters imported to Japan. Corn is cut with a front drill, crushed and then stored in the rear cage.
“If we pursue sound management, Japanese agriculture has great potential,” President Sakaue says. His current strategy is to increase the area of farmland. They are proactively introducing foreign-made huge farm machines that require special licenses. “With the Sakaue model, we'd like to stimulate the Japanese agricultural industry, and expand our business to other prefectures.” President Sakaue was so enthusiastic as he talked about his future plan, that I almost forget the chill of the winter farm.
Visiting Sakaue's main office and two farms, I was really impressed by the president who expressed his clear visions for the future, as well as the employees who enjoyed their work. Recently the Japanese agricultural system has been under review. However, this trip made me truly feel that if the great potential that President Sakaue talked about is realized, Japanese agriculture will continue to grow.
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