August 02, 2021
―Please begin with a brief introduction.
I am Nakayama, Plant Manager of Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Iwatsuki Plant. I joined in 2009, and this will be my 13th year. I came to Iwatsuki Plant, my current working ground, in 2019. When working, I’m always thinking about delivering happy moments to our customers.
In my private life, I enjoy skiing which I took up during my teens. I haven't been able to go recently, but I love it so much that I passed the 1st Grade of the Ski Badge Test!
―Ski Badge 1st Grade, that's impressive! Now, can you tell us a little about Iwatsuki Plant?
Iwatsuki Plant was built in 1971 and has nearly 200 employees. It has the highest production volume of all the plants in the Coca-Cola system. We focus mainly on carbonated drinks including one of my favorites, Coca-Cola, as well as various other brands. The recently introduced 100% recycled PET (Note 1) product is also manufactured here at Iwatsuki Plant!
See here for details on 100% recycled PET bottles.
―The trending 100% recycled PETs are shipped from Iwatsuki Plant! Can you recommend any places, food, etc. near Iwatsuki Plant?
"Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel" in Kasukabe City is a famous site near the plant. It is one of the world's largest underground discharge channels, and the spectacular sight is often referred to as the "underground temple of disaster prevention". I heard that it was also used as a filming location for a blockbuster movie. Once the current situation is under control, please visit when you are in the area!
In the food scene, I recommend "tofu Ramen", the local gourmet in the Iwatsuki area. It's a noodle dish with Ramen in light soy sauce soup made from chicken stock, etc., topped with thick tofu and minced meat sauce. It has been featured on TV and is loved by many people.
―Tofu Ramen, it's a first for me! I would definitely like to try it out. Is there anything that you pay particular attention to at Iwatsuki Plant, to produce safe and secure Coca-Cola products?
We place top priority on creating a safe work environment. To help employees work at ease, we identify improvement areas in weekly meetings and work with the members for continuous improvements. Naturally, we also have strict control and verification processes for product quality, and we constantly strive to produce high-quality products.
―You mentioned that this is your thirteenth year, but do you have any memories of difficult encounters?
There are a countless number of them...One that particularly comes to mind is when I was working at Saitama Plant in Yoshimi Town, Saitama in 2012, and I was involved in a big project to implement a new production line. Many unexpected events occurred that year, including the Great East Japan Earthquake which delayed the start of construction. Luckily, we made the deadline, but I can still remember the feeling of relief when we started production on the new line.
―It's quite nerve-racking when something unexpected happens, isn't it? What do you think is important when encountering an unexpected issue?
Even if something unexpected happens, I try to provide clear instructions and direction toward the goal. This is something I always keep in mind when I work.
―I see. The important thing is not to forget the initial objective! This is our last question. As you know, our mission is to 'deliver happy moments to everyone while creating value.' Tell us about a recent happy moment in your life.
My eldest son recently got married! We continue to face difficulties with the Covid-19 situation, but my son's news made me really happy!