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Creating New Energy by Adding Challenges to Experience

Assistant Manager, Overseas Power Project Department

Kotaro Hidaka

Taking On a New Job

I joined the company in 2019, but before that I was working for a company that built power plants. I had a lot of work overseas, and while every day was fulfilling, I changed jobs because I wanted to try something new.

Perhaps I wanted to try changing the environment around me.

At Furukawa Electric, I belong to the department responsible for engineering the construction of Extra-high Voltage cables and managing construction at overseas sites. While this lets me leverage the experience I had already, it is also exciting to work at a new job at a new company.

Maintaining Health and Safety

From 2020 to 2021, I worked on a project to lay Extra-high Voltage cables at a power plant in Thailand. This first job as a site manager turned out to be a strange coincidence: it was a joint project with my former company.

I was in a position where I had to take on many responsibilities other than just my job as an engineer, such as coordinating schedules with customers' entire processes and managing the health and safety of all construction workers, including foreign staff at Furukawa Electric.

Furukawa Electric’s slogan is “Go-anzen-ni, go-kenko-ni!” (“Stay safe, and stay healthy!”), but I keenly feel the responsibility to put this into practice and add “from the work site, to your front door” to that.

Communication is the Basis for Ensuring Safety

I still vividly remember the head of an overseas office who I met when I was dispatched there as an engineer. He made employees aware of safety at pre-work meetings every day. He was very familiar with the site, and explained in detail what to pay attention to, such as where dangers lurk and the kinds of work that create these dangers. I learned from his example that ensuring safety at the site means making sure that everyone has a concrete idea of the places where danger lies and how to handle it.

I also learned that by strengthening relationships on a daily basis, I can convey not only words, but feelings as well, helping construction work to proceed both smoothly and efficiently, as well as safely.

Although coronavirus has made it difficult to interact outside of work, I practice regular communication to improve the cohesiveness of the team.

Having Fun Both On and Off the Job

My job requires a sense of seriousness every day, so it is important to take time out for recreation too. When I stay abroad for a long time, I usually take my mind off work by playing golf or having barbecues with my friends. There’s an unusual golf course where you can go to the top of a precipitous cliff by helicopter and play your way down from there, and I also get to encounter many different cultures that you cannot experience in Japan.

I want young people to try new things that come with the environment that they are in. And when trouble occurs, I want them to remember that they have superiors that they can rely on. I also want them to work toward gaining qualifications, as not only will they acquire knowledge, but it will also broaden their horizons. I think that these efforts will eventually pay off and make work more fun.

In South Africa, 2016

Profile

2003
  • Joined a major plant construction company
2019
  • Transferred to Furukawa Electric's overseas site construction management division for Extra-high Voltage cables

Mr. Hidaka has spent a lot of time overseas since his time at his previous job and has encountered many different cultures and customs of different countries. Through these experiences, he has learned the importance of staying focused and the tolerance to accept the facts in front of him.

Assistant Manager, Overseas Power Project Department
Kotaro Hidaka