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.
Corporate Communications Department
Takeshi Nomura joined Sumitomo Corporation in 1993. He acquired experience in a variety of sections, including the Accounting Controlling Department I, which was his first assignment, the Building Materials Department, the Import Housing Business Office, the Materials Business Department, and the Consumer Distribution Business Department (currently the Retail & Wellness Business Department) before being assigned to the Corporate Communications Department. Once belonging to Mami Mart, a supermarket chain operating in Saitama Prefecture, and Sumisho Net Super K.K., his philosophy is "thinking from the consumer's perspective." This 42-year-old treasures his family.
Sumisho Coal Australia Pty. Ltd. (SCAP)
Established to deal with the coal business in Australia in 1997 as a 100% subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. SCAP currently invests in four coal mines operating in Australia.
In the state of Queensland, Australia, there is an area where many large coal mines are located—we call it, "Coal Ginza" (in Japan, the names of many places have the "Ginza" suffix attached. Most of these places are popular busy districts and are therefore named after the upscale Ginza shopping district in Tokyo). It is this Ginza-like area in Queensland that Sumitomo Corporation has invested in the Rolleston coal mine.
Since leaving the port town I visited the previous day, I was on the road for more than four hours on an apparently endless one-lane course that spanned a vast stretch of land when the Rolleston coal mine suddenly came into sight. Reportedly, this open pit coal mine possesses a 4- to 5-meter coal seam in an area located tens of meters below ground. The surface of this land is mined for coal. Coal is formed from plant matter that was present nearly a billion years ago and that carbonized after being buried in the earth before decay and decomposition processes were completed. In this sense, coal can be considered as a gift from the ancient world.
Burrowing through the ground with enormous heavy machinery. The right picture shows the shovel from this heavy machinery. The size and scale of this machinery may be beyond your imagination. The black surface represents the coal seam.
SCAP President Kenji Hashimoto, very passionate when discussing the coal business
Japan was the world's largest coal importer during the period of its rapid economic growth and the Japanese market was very attractive for coal exporting countries. Trading companies took advantage of the momentum and engaged in trading to the fullest extent. As the times changed, however, so too did the functions expected of trading companies. "In order to secure resource supplies for Japan, we became inclined to acquire mining rights in overseas resource assets (upstream investments) in line with national interests," said Kenji Hashimoto, President of Sumisho Coal Australia Pty. Ltd. (SCAP). "On the other hand, we have stepped up our efforts in developing markets that include China, which has ultimately replaced Japan as the largest coal importer, and India, which also has a strong demand for coal," he added, referring to the great possibilities for Sumitomo Corporation's coal business that aims at integrated industry involvement, including investments in superior assets, securing returns, and transporting and selling coal produced at company-owned coal mines. His enthusiastic discourse, which excited me as an interviewer, is reinforced by his long years of experience in the business.
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