A thriving metropolis with over 600 years of history, Seoul is the capital of the Republic of Korea. It has long been considered the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. As one of the most dynamic cities in the world, you will find an astonishing contrast between old and new in its neighborhoods. Suburbs and transportation systems continue to grow rapidly. New construction can be seen wherever you look.
Seoul is also becoming better designed for its people and the environment. Some examples of this are the redevelopment of Cheonggyecheon, the creation of the “soop” (forest) along the eastern bank of the Han river, and the development of a garden square in front of City Hall.
Seoul is located near the middle of the Korean peninsula, which extends southward from the eastern end of the Asian continent. The peninsula is roughly 1,030 kilometers long and 175 kilometers at its widest point. Mountains cover 70% of the land, making Korea one of the most mountainous nations in the world. Many of Seoul’s outlying neighborhoods climb up and down these hilly slopes.
At first glance, the bustling urban atmosphere of Seoul may give visitors the impression that its people are monotonous, impersonal, and only care about work. However, once visitors get under the surface a little, they will discover great passion (as was on display during the 2002 World Cup) and warm hearts. The people of Seoul also put a high value on keeping in touch with each other, making their internet and cell phone systems some of the most advanced in the world, and essentials for city life.
Marubeni Korea Corporation is located in the center of Seoul. It was established in 1995, as an independent company to handle all of Marubeni’s Korean operations (which began in 1967). Marubeni Korea Corporation has five business departments and three managerial departments, with a total of 70 employees, including nine representatives. The company creates new business from information acquired through its existing business, and also creates synergies through innovation in management.
President Kazuo Sugawara positively encourages employees in their attempts to develop valuable and profitable business opportunities for the company and its Korean customers. His goal is to make Marubeni Korea Corporation one of the major players in trade between Japan and Korea.
Jae Won Kim, the author of this article and general manager of the Planning & Development Department, is now coordinating with major Korean companies concerning natural resources and other areas. One of these companies is particularly interested in underground resources outside Korea. Mr. Kim is also working as a liaison between these companies and Marubeni’s head office in Tokyo.