This year will mark 105 years since this company was founded in 1906 as a trading company that imported and exported chemicals and computers (hardware, software). Counting from the first, I am the fourth president.
In middle school, high school, and university I lived for baseball. During the spring of 1978, I played for Fukui Commercial High School as the clean-up hitter in the Japanese High School Baseball Invitational Tournament. We took second place. Though I am 50 years old, it seems as if it was just yesterday that I was playing in front of a crowd of 60,000 people. That memory will never fade.
Many people often make comparisons between management and baseball. They sometimes ask me if I apply my baseball experiences to management, but I tell them there is no direct connection. I jokingly say that, “If experiences in baseball were directly related to management, all the presidents of listed companies throughout the world would be former baseball players.”
However, what I can say for sure is that when I was a student I threw away my pampered upbringing as the next in line to be president, and achieved a strong body and mind through blood and sweat. I also believe that I owe baseball for the fact that I grew into a “normal adult” who understands other people’s emotional pain and suffering, and though I can’t say it too loudly, I even understand the pain of being slugged by my coach and my seniors.
Both baseball and a company represent teamwork. They are living beings. What is teamwork? It’s not a “club of friends.” I think it is the fulfilling of responsibilities to the end no matter what you come up against, while serving in the position you are given or the position you wanted. There is an expression, “There is no such thing as an unlucky defeat.” Now, when Japan has lost some of its vigor, is the optimal time for stirring the spirit of competition to take back our splendor in the world.