The Sumitomo Spirit

The Sumitomo Spirit grew out of the guiding principles set down by Sumitomo founder Masatomo Sumitomo in his “Monjuin Shiigaki” (the Aphorisms of Monjuin). This corporate spirit has been developed, deepened, and handed down over generations in the Sumitomo Family enterprise, and its essence was distilled in the Rules Governing the Sumitomo family established in 1882, and formulated into two business principles in 1891. Although there were some corrections to the wording, the Business Principles have been inherited with no change in the contents up to now.

Business Principles

Article 1

Sumitomo shall achieve prosperity based on solid foundation by placing prime importance on integrity and sound management in the conduct of its business.

Article 2

Sumitomo’s business interest must always be in harmony with public interest; Sumitomo shall adapt to good times and bad times but will not pursue immoral business.

In addition, the Sumitomo Spirit also includes the following principles.

Attaching Importance to Technology

Sumitomo’s original copper business centered on the nanban-buki (foreign-style) refining technique that at the time was the leading edge of smelting technology. Emphasis on using the newest technology and actively developing new technologies has been a driving force in the development of Sumitomo business from its very beginnings.

Respect for Human Resources

Discovering and nurturing superior human resources has always been the most important objective for managers, and the Sumitomo tradition that “people make the enterprise” remains in full force to this day.

Long-Range Planning

The spirit of Sumitomo’s business planning developed from the original copper refining operation’s view toward long-term and continuous business. A realistic, long-term view of the future complemented by a wider perspective of country and society has guided Sumitomo managers for generations.

Mutual Prosperity, Respect for the Public Good

Sumitomo’s Director General Teigo Iba once said, “Sumitomo’s business must benefit not only Sumitomo itself but also the nation and society in general.” Sumitomo has always conducted business in harmony with the public interest based on the fundamental spirit of “gratitude toward society.”


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