Dialogue with Stakeholders
Employees, Local Communities

Factory Dialogue in Mitake

CSR Factory Dialogue in Mitake

Cultivating relationships with stakeholders

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The Sumitomo Riko Group is actively pursuing CSR activities so as to be a corporate citizen trusted and needed by society now and far into the future. We have already held Factory Dialogues at four sites. These are valuable opportunities for exchanging views and cultivating constructive relationships with people in the local community. Tokai Chemical Industries, Ltd. (TCI) based in Mitake-cho, Kani-gun, Gifu Prefecture, is the Sumitomo Riko Group's principal production base. The Group's latest CSR Factory Dialogue was held in Mitake with the aim of deepening the relationship with local people through direct communication with these important stakeholders.

Participants

[Facilitator]

  • Mr. Toshiki HatanoPresident, NPO Komaki Civil Activities Support Network

[Stakeholders]

  • Ms. Mayumi KakamuSecretary General, NPO Kani Multicultural Center
  • Dr. Tomonao KobayashiProfessor, Graduate School of Engineering, Gifu University
  • Mr. Manabu HiraiHead Master, Gifu Prefectural Tono High School
  • Mr. Norio MutouOfficer, Midoritai
  • Mr. Kimio WatanabeMayor, Mitake-cho

[Observer]

  • Mr. Norihide ImanagaSpecially Appointed Assistant Professor, Center for Collaborative Study with the Community, Gifu University

The Factory Dialogue was undertaken to find out how TCI could more effectively cultivate relationships with people in the local community, fulfill its social responsibility, and pursue collaboration to resolve social issues. We asked the dialogue participants listed above to express their views on TCI's initiatives, including their evaluation and expectations, from their perspectives. Representative Director and Executive Vice President Ozaki and Managing Executive Officer Nanno, represented Sumitomo Riko. Representative Director and President Mizukami, who also serves as Executive Officer of Sumitomo Riko, and Managing Director Miyanaga, represented TCI.

In their own words

―――Relationship between TCI and people in the local community from now on

  • I would like TCI to publicize what it is doing as a manufacturer based in Mitake. Moreover, since the Japanese government has designated Mitake an Eco Model City, TCI should make the most of the opportunities associated with that. I would also like to see TCI promote various projects in collaboration with the local government.
  • As an enterprise deeply rooted in the region, TCI is recruiting young people who grew up here. Considering TCI is developing human resources capable of contributing to the regional economy, I hope TCI will continue to recruit and train plenty of young people from Mitake and the surrounding area.
  • TCI is an admirable enterprise that is keen to offer talented engineers from overseas opportunities to pursue satisfying careers. In view of that background, I am hoping that TCI will continue to offer Japanese language classes for such people. Indeed, I urge TCI to publicize its Japanese language program as a model project.
  • The more the people working at TCI participate in local initiatives, the better. For example, they could help maintain the Satoyama (woodland near populated area) of Mitake which prides itself in beautiful greenery. Such activities offer opportunities for fruitful interaction with local people.
  • From the perspective of Gifu University, it is desirable to have as many attractive employment opportunities as possible in the prefecture for freshly minted graduates. And, of course, we want our students to be well informed about the companies in the area. So we would like TCI to accept factory visits and offer internships.

―――Resolving regional issues through regional collaboration and involvement

  • An inclusive, flexible, welcoming attitude to others is key. Encountering people whose perspectives and cultural backgrounds are different from those of Japan can enrich one's sensibility, and this is especially true in the case of young people. This exposure to other cultural influences can help foster individuals whose capabilities enrich the community.
  • It is desirable to strengthen collaboration and for TCI employees to become part of the fabric of the region so that they can help resolve regional issues.

―――Evaluation of TCI's current involvement in the community and future expectations

  • I would like TCI employees to participate fully in events held in Mitake. We expect them to become ambassadors communicating our town's attractiveness based on their personal experience.
  • Many of those who participated in the Japanese language classes held by TCI commented that TCI is a fascinating company. This suggests the workplace atmosphere at TCI is very positive.
  • Many people in Mitake have little idea what an excellent company TCI is. Since TCI has such a great story to tell, it should do more to publicize itself.
  • It would be wonderful if young people working at TCI and other companies in the industrial park deepened their involvement in events in Mitake. That would help vitalize the community and foster the next generation of civic leaders.
  • I urge TCI employees to join us in voluntary work to maintain the nearby mountains as one aspect of efforts to tackle environmental issues.
[Facilitator's comment]

Through the dialogue today, I have been impressed by how welcoming Mitake is to people from all over the world and how much the local people value their contributions to the vitality of the community. I believe there is plenty of potential here in Mitake for various sectors to collaborate in creating a flourishing future that benefits everyone. The dialogue also made it clear that many of TCI's low-key initiatives are highly regarded by its stakeholders. As pointed out by the participants, TCI should take pride in its achievements and more vigorously publicize its initiatives. From now on, I hope to see TCI strengthen linkage between the many people who are promoting initiatives that benefit Mitake, thus enhancing regional prosperity and vitality.

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Further development together with the region

Through the Factory Dialogue, we received many valuable opinions from people in the community. Above all, we recognized anew that Mitake is endowed with natural and cultural attributes that nurture a vibrant spirit, not least among children. We are proud to be a manufacturer in such an outstanding natural environment. We also understand that local people expect TCI to help foster the next-generation of civic leaders in the region by offering attractive employment opportunities. The Sumitomo Riko Group and TCI are promoting community-based business activities, and we are eager to maximize our contribution to regional, national and global prosperity, together with our stakeholders.

(Performed in November, 2016. Position titles are as of the date on which the dialogue was held)

SUMITOMO RIKO COMPANY LIMITED.

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