Special support for the Speech Contest of the Schools for the Blind
  The introduction sentence flies and the debate is heard.

Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee recently supported The 77th Speech Contest of The Schools for the Blind (hosted by Mainichi Newspaper Co., Ltd. Tenji Mainichi) held on Oct. 17th, 2008 at the Fukushima School for the Blind. This speech contest has marked its 77th anniversary, having observed the tradition since its establishment in 1928. The nine blind student representatives from seven districts, who had won elimination contests, delivered impassioned speeches, describing in their own words their future dreams, their purpose in life and ordinary feelings as they competed for the championship flag from the Ministry of Education and Science and the Tenji Mainichi Cup.

The winner of this contest, a fierce battle full of impressive speeches, was Yuka Suzuki, the delegate from the Tohoku region. Through her own experiences, Ms. Suzuki thought for a long time, realized who she was and became determined to take a step forward to a new world all on her own. In her 7-minute speech, titled “Taking a Step Forward,” she touched the audience with every word as she related her thoughts and feelings.

People think in “words,” express those thoughts with “words,” and comprehend with “words.” We can easily tend to lose sight of simple, obvious truths in our daily lives.

Based on its Group statement, “Passing important values from people to people,” the Sumitomo Group Public Affairs Committee will continue to support the Speech Contest of the Schools for the Blind out of a sincere wish to help people to convey their thoughts and ideas through words.