1984: Daini-Denden Is Established
Is My Motive Virtuous or Selfish?
When the Japanese telecommunications industry was deregulated in 1984, Daini-Denden (now KDDI) was established with Kyocera as the lead investing company.
Inamori knew that long-distance telephone costs in Japan were high and thought that Kyocera could help lower them, which would benefit the Japanese people. It was very risky competing against NTT, a giant in the telecom industry. If unsuccessful, they would suffer a huge loss even at the early stages of development. Kyocera had no engineers with specialized knowledge of telecommunications, and by conventional wisdom, it was a market everyone considered impossible to enter successfully. However, Inamori forged ahead, establishing DDI with his strong desire to help the Japanese people.
Following DDI's entry into the market, new telecom companies — subsidiaries of the railways and highways which already had existing infrastructures — were established one after another. DDI, lacking any such infrastructure, had to construct microwave relay stations on the mountaintops between Tokyo and Osaka. DDI somehow managed to complete the construction and the infrastructure in time to start telecommunications service about the same time as the other telecom companies. DDI was the most disadvantaged among the three, but started to lead the others in revenue and profit.
Before entering into the telecom business, Inamori questioned himself thoroughly every night, asking, "Is my motive virtuous or selfish?" A pure, selfless desire to help others and benefit society was at the root of DDI's founding. It was the employees who sympathized with Inamori's pure motive and worked harder than anyone else who created the KDDI of today — one of the largest telecom company in Japan.