In October 2012, we opened ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE in Itochu Garden next to ITOCHU's Tokyo Headquarters. We established the facility as a base for our community contribution activities aimed at contributing to growth of future generations, making local contributions through art, and contributing to art and cultural promotion, both in Japan and abroad. In Aoyama, an area that thrives with a variety of cultures, we have showcased artwork that reflects fresh perceptions and presented exhibitions that serve as a bridge for international exchange.
In FYE 2020 and 2021, the following 4 exhibitions were held, and as of December 2020, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE had welcomed approximately 220,000 visitors since opening.
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August 20 to September 29, 2019
Sugoroku Journey – The Road of Chubei Itoh and "Sampo-yoshi"
This exhibition introduced "Sampo-yoshi" (good for the buyer, good for the seller and good for society) known as the trading philosophy of Chubei Itoh I, the founder of ITOCHU and a leading member of the Ohmi merchants, and the approximately 160-year history of our company with the sugoroku board game. It was a participation-based exhibition. Visitors went around answering the quiz questions displayed on the smartphones in their hands.
November 12 to December 1, 2019
Chubei Itoh × Shiga – Visiting the Founding Place
This exhibition introduced Ohmi where ITOCHU was founded with the full-cooperation of Shiga Prefecture. We displayed the charms of the place where we established in the café and with products for sale. We also exhibited the history and seasons of Shiga Prefecture with videos and panels.
July 1 to August 7, 2020
ITOCHU's "Sampo-yoshi" Business Exhibition
We introduced the recycling-oriented business for a sustainable society we are working on with the spirit of "Sampo-yoshi" (good for the buyer, good for the seller and good for society) found in our corporate philosophy since FYE 2021 and actual articles in an easy-to-understand manner.
October 1 to December 13, 2020
Ryo Honda's Humorous SDGs Illustration Exhibition: Enjoy Understanding the 17 Goals for Saving the World
The Japan Association for the World Food Programme sponsored this exhibition in October. This organization is the official point of contact for support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. The environmental cartoonist Ryo Honda (Director of the Japan Association for the World Food Programme) expressed the 17 SDGs and their challenges with illustrations.
ITOCHU contributes to the promotion of regional development by supporting Shiga Prefecture where we were founded.
Shiga Prefecture is the birthplace of the Ohmi merchants. It is also the home of Chubei Itoh I – the founder of ITOCHU. Shiga Prefecture is alive with a way of thinking that leads to the SDGs. For example, the spirit of "Sampo-yoshi" (good for the buyer, good for the seller and good for society) of the Ohmi merchants is found here. This spirit has been passed down in ITOCHU since our foundation. It also connects to the modern-day SDGs. The prefecture is also the site of environmental conservation activities to pass on Lake Biwa to the next generation in a healthy state.
Lake Biwa Museum
ITOCHU sponsored the Lake Biwa Museum reopening project in FYE 2021 as a reopening supporter. In addition, we held the ITOCHU Company Day from October 24 to November 23 after the museum's reopening in October 2020. The Company Day is an exhibition to introduce the activities of companies sponsoring this museum. We exhibited materials related to ITOCHU (founded in Ohmi), Shiga Prefecture and Lake Biwa under the title of "Ohmi Merchants and "Sampo-yoshi" (Good for the Buyer, Good for the Seller and Good for Society)."
Chubei Itoh I carried goods to Osaka and Kishu via Lake Biwa from a nearby waterway by boat. This museum is operated with a mission to deepen understanding of Lake Biwa's nature, history and life and to build an even better relationship of coexistence between people and the lake.
ITOCHU Holds Chubei Itoh × Shiga – Visiting the Founding Place at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE
We held Chubei Itoh × Shiga – Visiting the Founding Place at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE to line up with the anniversary of the establishment of ITOCHU and the Icho Festival from November 12 to December 1, 2019. This was an event to introduce Ohmi.
This exhibition introduced the history of Shiga Prefecture, buildings such as the Chubei Itoh Memorial Museum and scenery of the four seasons through videos and panels with the full cooperation of Shiga Prefecture. We sold special products of Shiga Prefecture and provided tea from Shiga Prefecture in the café.
ITOCHU Participates with an Exhibition as a Company Connected to Shiga Prefecture at COCOSHIGA
We exhibited panels introducing our relationship with Shiga Prefecture and the Lake Biwa Museum at a festival of gratitude from October 29 to November 5, 2020. This was a festival held to commemorate the third anniversary of the opening of COCOSHIGA. COCOSHIGA is a base to showcase information setup in Nihonbashi as an antenna shop of Shiga Prefecture.
An oil project in the Caspian Sea, which ensures a stable resource supply and contributes to local communities for harmonious cooperation
As a member of an international consortium operated by BP, ITOCHU Corporation participates in the ACG field, a crude oil development and production project in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, and the BTC oil feed pipeline project.
Crude oil produced by the ACG project is supplied primarily to the European market via the BTC Pipeline, thus contributing to the stable supply of energy in the world. These projects operate in strict compliance with environmental and labor-related laws and industry standards, as well as initiatives to reduce carbon emissions from operations. The projects create local employment and promote various activities in areas such as education and agriculture in order to enhance harmonious coexistence with local communities. ITOCHU Corporation, on its own initiative, is fully committed to such activities, including donating computers to local schools via its subsidiary.
ITOCHU Corporation maintains approximately 100 overseas offices in 62 countries around the world (as of April 1, 2020). In addition to making local contributions through our business activities in each region, as a member of these local communities we consider local issues and how ITOCHU can contribute in its own way, and undertake local contribution activities in each region.
The following is an excerpt of the activities we conducted in FYE 2018.
Tokyo Head Office
Aoyama Junior High School near to our Tokyo Headquarters held a vocational talk as part of the career education for its first-graders on January 28, 2020. Eight companies headquartered in Minato participated. We gave advice on the meaning and purpose of working to the junior high school students in the ITOCHU booth. This included an introduction to the work of a trading company and the companies of ITOCHU. We will continue to promote activities in cooperation with neighboring schools in the future.
Osaka Head Office
ITOCHU supports the Corporate Furusato program (companies supporting the revitalization of farming and mountain villages) promoted by Wakayama Prefecture as part of our CSR activities. We signed a memorandum of understanding with Katsuragi in Wakayama Prefecture on May 25, 2009. Since then, we have been engaged in exchange activities aimed at regional revitalization. We do this mainly by employees of our Osaka Head Office participating in rice planting in the spring and rice harvesting in the fall every year with the cooperation of the labor union. A total of approximately 100 employees participated in the rice planting on June 1 and the rice harvesting on October 5 in Amano no Sato, selected as one of the 100 best villages of Japan, in FYE 2020. We also interacted with those in the community through a barbecue. We plan to continue our exchanges with everyone in the community in the future.
Chubu Branch and Hokkaido Branch
Chubu Branch and Hokkaido Branch participate in Ehon wo Todokeru Undo. This is a campaign to give Japanese picture books to areas where such books are in short supply (e.g., Laos and Myanmar) after affixing translation stickers in local languages to them through the ITOCHU Foundation.
Chubu Branch gave a total of 60 picture books with 12 employees participating in FYE 2021. Employees gather in the meeting room to do this work in a normal year. However, it was necessary to devise ways to perform this work through other means during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, employees worked on their own avoiding crowded spaces. The future remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the branch will continue this activity to bring smiles to the faces of children around the world from Nagoya.
Hokkaido Branch has been participating in this activity since FYE 2021. The branch plans to give 20 picture books in FYE 2022.
Contribution to Society during the COVID-19 Crisis: Blood Drive
There is a significant shortage of blood available for transfusions due to the impact of COVID-19. With this becoming a serious problem, Kyushu Branch held a blood drive on June 25, 2020 in response to societal demand. The branch held this blood drive while ventilating the venue, disinfecting it and ensuring distancing between attendees. Employees from ITOCHU and 20 group companies took part with 77 asking to participate and 60 actually giving blood. The branch plans to continue holding blood drives while paying close attention to the situation in the future.
Kinmaru no Hi: Flower Volunteers
Kyushu Branch has been participating in Kinmaru no Hi every year since 2006. This is a day for simultaneous volunteer activities organized by the Fukuoka Social Welfare Council and the Fukuoka Employers' Association. Volunteers transplanted flowers and cleaned beaches simultaneously at six sites in Fukuoka Prefecture on November 14, 2020. Kyushu Branch employees worked hard participating as flower volunteers at Tenjin Chuuou Park in Fukuoka.
Chugoku & Shikoku Branch
Joint Efforts with Shimane Prefecture at the CISS Family Fair
The CISS Family Fair was held in Hiroshima on October 24 and 25, 2020. Seven companies in Shimane Prefecture set up stalls for the first time with the cooperation of Shimane Prefecture and the Shimane Prefecture Products Association. This was done based on the Alliance Agreement on Joint Efforts to Develop Industries, etc. in Shimane Prefecture entered into by ITOCHU and Shimane Prefecture in 2005. We helped to raise the recognition of products from Shimane Prefecture with this.
Public Commendation from the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the 60th Anniversary of the Opening of Chugoku & Shikoku Branch
Chugoku & Shikoku Branch opened as a sub-branch in Hiroshima in December 1960. Since then, the branch has promoted cooperation with local companies and group companies in the Chugoku and Shikoku region while expanding the area under its control. The branch received a public commendation from the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry on its 60th anniversary. At the same time, an interview with Fujita, General Manager of Chugoku & Shikoku Branch, was published in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bulletin published on December 24.
The employees of Tohoku Branch have been participating as food sorting volunteers at the Miyagi Cooperative Food Bank on an ongoing basis since 2017. The Food Bank conducts its activities with the aim of promoting the creation of a community where everyone can live with peace of mind by reducing food loss and making effective use of foods that can be eaten. It is doing this to help contribute to healthy and prosperous lives. The employees who participated as volunteers helped to sort the food collected by the Food Bank by product and best before date. A total of 10 employees participated seven times in FYE 2020. The branch is aiming to continue participating in volunteer activities.