Chairman of Sumitomo Chemical and of the Japan Business Federation / Keidanren
Hiromasa Yonekura has been Chairman and Representative Director of Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. since 2009. Before he became Chairman, he had served as President of Sumitomo Chemical since 2000.
Yonekura started with Sumitomo Chemical in 1960. As a young manager, he was assigned to a petrochemical project in Singapore to build a complex of a naphtha cracker and petrochemicals production facilities jointly with the Singapore government and partner companies. He played a leadership role in the negotiation with the partners and contributed to the successful completion of the complex in 1984.
After he became President Sumitomo Chemical, Yonekura accelerated the globalization of the Sumitomo Chemical Group. He carried out the Rabigh Project, the joint undertaking with Saudi Aramco to establish a world-scale integrated oil refining and petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia, which started operations in 2009. He has also implemented measures to strengthen the Group’s high value-added businesses, with particular focus on the areas of life sciences and IT related materials. At the same time, he has stepped up the Group’s corporate social responsibility initiative, which is epitomized by the business of long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets that are contributing to malaria control in Africa.
Yonekura currently serves as Chairman of the Japan Chemical Industry Association and as CEO Sponsor of the Energy and Climate Change Leadership Group of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).
In Nippon Keidanren, Japan’s leading business federation, Yonekura served as Vice Chairman from 2004 to 2008. In 2008, he became Chairman of Nippon Keidanren’s Board of Councillors. In January 2010, Nippon Keidanren announced that he was nominated as its next chairman. He is also Chairman of the Japan-U.S. Business Council, which co-hosts the U.S.-Japan Business Conference with the U.S.-Japan Business Council.
Yonekura was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo in 1960. He earned a Masters Degree from the Department of Economics, Graduate School, Duke University in 1964 and completed the PhD course of the same school in 1965. He is married with two daughters.