ITOCHU Announces Conclusion of an Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Agreement on Environmental Conservation and Regional Development with Uken Village in Amami Oshima, Sophia University and JAL

September 19, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that on September 17, 2023, it concluded a collaboration agreement with the government of Uken Village on Amami Oshima, Kagoshima (located in Oshima-gun, Kagoshima; Akira Motoyama, Mayor), Sophia School Corporation which operates Sophia University and other institutions (headquartered in Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo; Sali Augustine, Chancellor; hereinafter “Sophia University”), and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo; Yuji Akasaka, Representative Director, President and Group CEO; hereinafter “JAL”). The goals of this agreement are to work on environmental conservation and regional development in Uken Village.

In 2014, Uken Village began to have local elementary school students plant mangroves as an initiative to foster the children’s pride in the local natural environment. In support of this, ITOCHU has been assisting the tree-planting activities since 2021 with a view toward protecting biodiversity and creating blue carbon credits. Sophia University and JAL launched a joint initiative in Uken Village in 2022 to build a model for achieving regional revitalization through both environmental conservation and the promotion of tourism (the Amami Model). They disseminate information about the initiative via a symposium and other opportunities.*1, *2

By linking these two initiatives, the four parties will push forward with initiatives enabling Uken Village to achieve its goals of being a Zero Carbon City and conserving and restoring biodiversity, leveraging their human and physical resources and specialized knowledge. At the same time, they will build a symbiotic relationship between nature and humans and create new flows of people, working to achieve sustainable regional revitalization.*3

Collaboration and cooperation items

(1). Provision of human and physical resources for planting mangroves
(2). Provision of academic knowledge for the planting of mangroves and research on its impact on the natural environment
(3). Creation of new flows of people through the planning and implementation of experience-based eco-tours and other events
(4). Consideration and creation of blue carbon credits
(5). Fostering the next generation of young people through nature experiences

Edateku Island (left), where mangroves will be planted

Scene from the signing ceremony

Tree-planting activity involving local elementary school students (2021)