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Content - Kansai: Plant visit and networking party

  • November 19, 2018

Kansai: Plant visit and networking party

Osaka (SCCIJ) – A plant tour and a networking party at the end of October, both well attended and in short consecution, were the big contribution of the Kansai chapter to the annual event calendar of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan. First, there was a Swiss Young Professional Gathering on October 25, organized in collaboration with the Honorary Consulate General of Switzerland in Osaka and the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan; second, a visit and tour of a plant of Sunstar in Takatsuki followed by a lunch buffet. Sunstar is a Japanese company in the oral care, health and beauty, chemicals and motorcycle business which deliberately shifted its headquarter to Switzerland to speed up its globalization.

SCCIJ Kansai event October

Relaxed networking

The networking party for Swiss young professionals at Nambar 10 was attended by more than 30 guests from the Kansai area. The Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan, Jean-François Paroz, the Honorary Consul General and SCCIJ Vice-President Kansai Dieter Sommerhalder, Swissôtel General Manager Bernd Schneider and other Swiss diplomats in Japan also joined the party.  

Skis and other sports equipment decorated the walls. A table soccer and a pool table fostered a relaxed atmosphere. After a brief Kanpai speech by Honorary Consul General Sommerhalder, the attendees mingled and enjoyed themselves for two hours. It was already the second Swiss Young Professionals meeting in the Kansai region this year. The first one took place at the Nescafé Sannomiya in Kobe at the end of May and also received a big response in terms of attendance.

SCCIJ members and guests of the SCCIJ Kansai tour of a Sunstar plant (click to enlarge)

SCCIJ members and guests of the SCCIJ Kansai tour of a Sunstar plant (click to enlarge)

Sunstar in Takatsuki

The next morning, about 20 members and guests of the SCCIJ gathered at Shin-Osaka JR Station and were taken by bus to the Sunstar plant in Takatsuki about 20 kilometers away. At the plant, a group of Sunstar representatives welcomed the guests and guided them to a structure (Sky Hall) made of wood and glass with a little shop for Sunstar products on the ground floor. Sunstar Group Executive Officer Mr. Eito Morisada welcomed the visitors. Ambassador Paroz thanked the company for its hospitality.   

Wieland Noetzold, Sunstar Group Executive Officer and himself from Switzerland, gave an introductory presentation about the company, in particular its history, business fields and current strategy. The Group had consolidated sales of 1.5 billion Yen in 2017, about half of it each in Japan and outside of Japan. Young staff of the production department added more details about the planned factory tour.

Sunstar plant in Takatsuki (click to enlarge)

Sunstar plant in Takatsuki (click to enlarge)

Toothpaste production view

After a commemorative picture taken outside of the facility, the guests split in two groups for the tour, an English speaking one and a Japanese speaking one. All visitors prepared for entering the manufacturing floor with a thorough sanitation process and put white overalls and caps on. The structure built in 1958 has just celebrated 60 years of operations and well maintained machines are in full operation to manufacture made-in-Japan products. At the same time, a facility to produce newly developed products is under construction on a near-by plot of land.  

The guided tour went past the machines producing toothpaste, including one of the most popular toothpastes in Japan, G•U•M. After the tour, the members of the SCCIJ Kansai group were surprised with a gift bag with toothpaste, an original Japan X Switzerland toothbrush, mouthwash, whitening cosmetics and a printed version of the commemorative picture which had been taken in the morning.  

SCCIJ President Michael Mroczek thanked Sunstar for the tour and sent the group off to Swissôtel Nankai Osaka. At restaurant “Tavola 36”, the members and guests of the SCCIJ Kansai event could enjoy a lunch buffet with Mediterranean food, Swiss wine and a Halloween twist.  

About Sunstar

Founded in Japan in 1932 as a producer of rubber glue, Sunstar has expanded its operations to cover a broad spectrum including both a consumer business (toothpaste, health food/shampoo/cosmetics) and an industrial business (adhesive & sealants for buildings & automobiles and sprocket & brake disk for motorcycles). It now has a turnover of about CHF 1'243 million (USD 1.5 billion) with more than half of it coming from oral care.   

The name "Sunstar" derives from the first toothpaste the company introduced in Japan, reminding users to brush their teeth two times a day - at the rise of the sun (morning) and the rise of the stars (evening). Today, Sunstar is the leading oral care company in Japan with a market share of 20 percent. But about ten years ago, its headquarters was moved to Switzerland to accelerate the pace of its globalization.  

 

Text: SCCIJ; Photos: Sunstar & SCCIJ

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