Business Philosophy

Steadiness and reliability are of the greatest importance; speculative profit should not be sought

The origins of Sumitomo's corporate philosophy go back 350 years, to when Masatomo Sumitomo wrote Monjuin Shiigaki.

In Masatomo's later years, he lived in a hermitage, leading a life both priestly and worldly. In letters and other writings, he offered instructions to his family and followers of "Priest Masatomo" on how to do business and how to live a good life.
Monjuin Shiigaki consists of five articles, plainly communicating the rules of business. These teachings have been handed down as family precepts among the Sumitomo.

Based on these precepts, in 1891 two articles were prescribed as Sumitomo's operational rules, shown below:

Monjuin Shigaki

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

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.

(Excerpt from "Business Principles" in the Rules Governing the Sumitomo family, enacted in 1891)

These articles are still being observed as corporate principles at all Sumitomo Group companies.

Long-range Planning and the Daring Enterprise Philosophy

The backbone of Sumitomo's businesses had long comprised those businesses related to the Besshi copper mine. During those years Sumitomo developed the business philosophy that all planning should be on a long-term basis; if a seed does not bear fruit in a single generation, wait and see if it will in two or three generations.

The Shisaka island refinery

"We should plan our business on a long-term basis, so as to benefit the country." This is the philosophy of Sumitomo, inherited by successive general managers. This philosophy is evidenced in the facts that our refinery was moved to Shisaka Island to eliminate smoke pollution, that we began a tree-planting business at the Besshi copper mine, and that we engaged in Niihama Harbor construction and other activities.