CSR Update 2014

December

Company visit by second grade students of Aoyama Elementary School

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On Thursday, December 11, a total of 25 second year students and the principal of Aoyama Elementary School visited our office as a part of their educational trips to companies near the school.
In their tour around our building, the students were surprised to find FamilyMart for employees. In the conference room, they asked lovely questions such as "What work does ITOCHU do?" and "How many people do you have?" They were nodding as they listened to explanations of our employees.

"Charity Santa" fund-raising activities for the Japan Association for the World Food Programme

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During the lunch break on Tuesday, December 9, we solicited donations at the Tokyo Headquarters for supporting activities to eradicate hunger in the world. ITOCHU Corporation has been carrying out this activity every year since 2006. This year, a total of 296,115 yen was donated in good will by people from the Tokyo Headquarters and branches of ITOCHU Corporation and those from the ITOCHU Group companies. All of the amount will be donated to the School Meals program of the UN World Food Program (WFP) to support children suffering from hunger.

"Make Your Own Drawstring Eco-Bag for Shopping" to start on December 26 at the Eco Shop pavilion of KidZania Tokyo

"Make Your Own Drawstring Eco Bag" will start on December 26 at the Eco Shop pavilion of KidZania Tokyo. This activity allows children to create and take home their own drawstring Eco-Bag for Shopping by putting the bags on pieces of string in their favorite colors and using stamps. They can choose from stamps of mascot characters of KidZania and the MOTTAINAI Campaign, a global environmental campaign in which ITOCHU participates. The bags will be made from Pre Organic Cotton that supports cotton farmers during the shift to organic cultivation, so children will also learn about environmental problems of the world.
For every child who participates in an event at the Eco Shop pavilion, an amount equivalent to the cost of one tree sapling is donated to the Green Belt Movement, a tree planting campaign in Kenya.
In addition, ITOCHU will co-host the "Christmas Wishes for The Environment," an event held at KidZania Tokyo during the period until Christmas, or December 12 to December 25. For every five children who participate in this event, ITOCHU will donate an amount equivalent to the cost of one tree sapling to the Green Belt Movement.
We hope that many children will participate in the event.

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"Under the Tree Charity Exhibition: The Story of Ban Rom Sai" held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE in time with World AIDS Day

"Under the Tree Charity Exhibition: The Story of Ban Rom Sai" is held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE. It is an art exhibition of Ban Rom Sai, an orphanage in northern Thailand for children afflicted by AIDS. ITOCHU Corporation has been supporting this orphanage.
The exhibition started on Monday, December 1, which is World AIDS Day. President Okafuji of ITOCHU Corporation attended the opening reception held on the first day and inspected the venue decorated to express the attractiveness of northern Thailand. He sent an encouraging message for activities of Ban Rom Sai. Ms. Miwa Natori, the founder of Ban Rom Sai who was visiting Japan from Chiang Mai, also appeared in the venue. In her speech, she said "It is thanks to your support that we could continue operating for 15 years. Thank you very much." These words received warm applause from people in the venue.

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November

Chinese college students visiting Japan accepted in a homestay program

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On Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30, four host family homes of four ITOCHU Group employees accepted Chinese college students, who visited Japan in the 15th "Visit Japanese Enterprises and Feel Japan," a program organized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China to have Chinese college students deepen their understanding of Japan. The employees and their families interacted with the students on a private basis.

Opening reception of the Children's Books Power Exhibition graced with the presence of the empress

On Thursday, November 13, the first day of the Children's Books Power Exhibition, graced with the presence of the empress, the opening reception of the exhibition was held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE. As the representative of ITOCHU Corporation, Chairman Kobayashi made a toast at the reception.
This exhibition was planned by the Japanese Board on Books for Young People(JBBY), which has been engaged in "activities for sowing seeds of hope and trust in the minds of children" through books for 40 years, and the ITOCHU Foundation, which has also been working for 40 years focusing its efforts on providing subsidies to children's libraries. The objective of this exhibition was to inform society that children's books have the unique ability to cross borders and transcend the space-time continuum.

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[From Mumbai] An event related to the Mobile Learning Centre Project for street children was held on Children's Day!

Eight volunteers including overseas bloc employees from ITOCHU India participated in the Mobile Learning Centre Project at the M-East Ward, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. This project was launched in June jointly by ITOCHU Corporation and Save the Children Japan.
To celebrate the Children' Day of India, which was November 14, they held a picture-drawing event by inviting 45 children who do not attend school, including street children and those involved in child labor.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Employee volunteers' PR activities for Takata no Yume, a new brand of rice from Rikuzen-Takata City
  • A session with Mayor Futoshi Toba of Rikuzen-Takata City for exchanging opinions about reconstruction measures
  • Volunteer Activities - Employee volunteers support quake victims

For details, visit:

October

"Studio COOCA World Exhibition" held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

Yuko Sumino Words Exhibition "Kyo mo kitto ii koto ga aru" - Expressing the appreciation of being alive, which showed works of Yuko Sumino, a calligrapher with Down Syndrome residing in Kansai, was held from Wednesday, October 1 for a period of one week.
Yuko's "words" are full of candor and expressing what is important as a human being. Many visitors said that they were encouraged by her words. During the period of the exhibition, Ms. Sumino herself welcomed visitors at the venue. It was her first solo exhibition to be held in Kanto and was a good opportunity to have her works known to many people.

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[From Jakarta] Clean Up Jakarta Day 2014

On October 19, ITOCHU Indonesia participated in Clean Up Jakarta Day 2014 (CUJD) organized by a local publisher (Indonesia Expat) on their 2nd annual event that had a turnout of 5,000 volunteers (amazingly increased from the last year's number of 1,000). The volunteers spread to 27 locations throughout Jakarta and its suburbs and collected nearly 50 tons of garbage.
The total number of participants from ITOCHU Indonesia's Jakarta team was 139 persons. Our team consisted of employees, their families, friends and some business partners. Our cleanup site was Jl. M.H. Thamrin, one of the main streets of Jakarta and where our office is located, and most of us, probably all, really enjoyed the activity.
As the first Japanese company in Indonesia to join CUJD, we are committed to inspiring ourselves and others to raise awareness of rubbish problems and the need to recycle.

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Autumn Nature Observation Tour Held in Akiruno City

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On October 19, a nature observation tour was held in a village forest(Yokosawairi area)of Akiruno City, to which a total of 16 employees and their families participated. It takes about one hour and a half by train from the center of Tokyo to the Yokosawairi area. Sunny yellow rice fields spread in this area, and the participants observed insects and enjoyed the long-forgotten view of the farming village in Japan, where people live in harmony with the nature.

(This event is hosted by the Fureai Network Nature Observation Sessions, a volunteer organization of ITOCHU Group employees.)

[From New York] III Volunteer Team Makes "a World of Difference" at a Bronx Public School

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The storage room clean-up was quite challenging

On October 18, 15 ITOCHU International Inc.(III)employees and family members spent their Saturday at a public school in Bronx, NY, painting the courtyard, cleaning the garden, and helping to organize libraries. They were among 4,000 volunteers at 70 public schools across New York City's five boroughs participating in the annual New York Cares Day Fall Clean-up, working together to brighten up public schools and motivate students. III has participated in this event since 2003.
The III team visited the middle school (JHS 123), which serves underprivileged children, including many who are behind in their studies. Our team divided into three groups. The first group weeded, cleaned up and planted bulbs in the garden. The second group repainted the game lines and basketball courts in the courtyard. The third group had the strenuous task of cleaning out and organizing storage rooms on two different floors of the school. For our achievements for the day: a nicely organized book storage room, a freshly repainted courtyard, and a clean garden, the manager of the school said: "Your time with us made a world of difference!"

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The III volunteer team
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The repainted basketball court
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The storage room all clean and organized

Yuko Sumino Words Exhibition held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

Yuko Sumino Words Exhibition "Kyo mo kitto ii koto ga aru" - Expressing the appreciation of being alive, which showed works of Yuko Sumino, a calligrapher with Down Syndrome residing in Kansai, was held from Wednesday, October 1 for a period of one week.
Yuko's "words" are full of candor and expressing what is important as a human being. Many visitors said that they were encouraged by her words. During the period of the exhibition, Ms. Sumino herself welcomed visitors at the venue. It was her first solo exhibition to be held in Kanto and was a good opportunity to have her works known to many people.

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Opening of ITOCHU Medical Plaza

On October 2, the opening ceremony of ITOCHU Medical Plaza (IMP) was held in Kobe City, Hyogo, attended by about 50 people including Mayor Kizo Hisamoto of Kobe City and representatives from all walks of life. President Okafuji of ITOCHU expressed his hope for the facility, saying "I would like the facility to play a role in improving medical technologies of the world as a center of advanced medicine, with a mission to save as many lives as possible." After a Shinto ritual and ribbon-cutting ceremony, the attendants looked around the facility and saw the training room for developing medical human resources and equipment to be used for the training. Located in the Kobe Medical Industrial City, which is a part of the International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone designated by the national government, IMP is a facility for developing medical human resources and international medical exchange activities. In April 2013, ITOCHU donated 500 million yen, which is the total sum required to construct this facility.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Volunteer Activities - Employee volunteers support quake victims

For details, visit:

September

Participation to the Global Social Responsibility (GSR) Idea Contest for Students

On September 27, the 5th Global Social Responsibility Idea Contest for Students was held, and ITOCHU supported creation of proposals by students of Mitsuhiro Umezu Seminar of Keio University and those of Miyazaki and Iguchi Seminar of Atomi University. The team of Keio University students won the Unique Prize.
This annual contest is hosted by the Japan Center for Economic Research, and ITOCHU has been supporting this event since the first year. This year, eight universities and eight companies participated in the event, and each group of students presented their proposed solutions to global social issues through businesses, by selecting and combining businesses of two of the participating companies.
The team of Keio University students combined businesses of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and ITOCHU Corporation. They focused on the dual hardships faced by Thailand, or the obesity problem in urban areas and malnutrition in the northeast area. They created a business model in which a part of sales of restaurants serving healthy food is appropriated for nutritious box lunch and school-provided lunch in the northeast area. This business model was highly evaluated. It seems that the students developed themselves substantially through all that they experienced in the contest, including interviews with the companies, in which they were given some harsh comments, and the joy and regret they felt after the presentations.

Click here to go to the video archive and view the competition.

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Lupin the Third Costume Exhibition held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

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During September 8 to 23, the Lupin the Third Costume Exhibition, an exhibition of costumes used for the movie "Lupin the Third," was held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE. With a view to training future generations in the fashion industry, this event was held to support a young Japanese designer, Mr. Yuima Nakazato who designed costumes for the movie "Lupin the Third," so that he will make the world his stage.
Fashion is vital for expressing the worldview of Lupin the Third. Based on that, the exhibition showed ideas employed by Mr. Nakazato to give the costumes with superb design features and functionality, and comparison between how the costumes look on the screen and the actual costumes. Held in the period when the movie was being released, this exhibition attracted a large number of visitors and received attention.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Harvesting ceremony of Takata no Yume, a new brand of rice from Rikuzen-Takata City
  • Volunteer Activities - Employee volunteers support quake victims

For details, visit:

August

International Environment Photo Exhibition held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

During Wednesday, August 6 to Tuesday, August 26, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE presented the International Environment Photo Exhibition jointly with the International Environment Photographers Association.
Works of 110 photographers with high environmental awareness from 37 countries were exhibited at one place. This allowed visitors to feel the importance of the invaluable natural environment and its protection via the photographs.
On August 6, which was the first day of the exhibition, a talk show for elementary school children entitled "Let's think about the environment: What we can do to protect wildlife" was given by Ms. Kimiyo Tsuji from the public relations office of WWF Japan. This talk show let the children learn about endangered species of the world, such as orangutan and panda.

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Co-sponsorship for "Come visit Tokyo! 2014"

The "Come visit Tokyo! 2014", an event which invites foster-home children from Fukushima to Tokyo as part of support for disaster-affected areas in Tohoku, was held on Monday, August 18. About 60 children spent the morning at KidZania Tokyo, a facility to educate children about occupations. This was followed by a mini-sports day at Toyosu Park in the afternoon, in which the children enjoyed foot races and tug-of-war together with adults. ITOCHU agreed to the content of the event and donated tickets for KidZania Tokyo as a co-sponsor. ITOCHU also sent sets of children's books selected by ITOCHU Foundation to all of the foster homes of the children. The event attracted a large number of volunteers, including not only working adults but also track and field athletes and even Sumo wrestlers. ITOCHU's co-sponsorship for the event resulted in participation of ten non-Japanese volunteers, providing an opportunity for the children to come into contact with other cultures. The children smiled through the unforgettable day, interacting with a large number of adults away from their everyday life at foster homes.

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Out of KidZania work experience with ITOCHU on its brand business

ITOCUH Corporation has been operating the Eco Shop pavilion at KidZania Tokyo since 2012. On August 11 and 12, we implemented "Out of KidZania work experience with ITOCHU on its brand business," a special program for allowing children to experience work of a trading company on site, at the Tokyo head office.
In this program, the children planned new products by taking advantage of the Shunsoku brand. ITOCHU Corporation operates the Syunsoku brand license business as the master licensee.
About 30 children participated in the two-day program and learned about brand business and key points and product planning of the Shunsoku brand. They planned new products in groups and made presentations as if they were in the actual business setting.

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Summer Holiday Environmental Class

ITOCHU started to hold Summer Holiday Environmental Class in 1992 for children in the local community and employees' children as part of its CSR activities. This year, 43 energetic elementary-school children participated in the class. President Okafuji appeared in the venue to observe the class, which surprised the children. His words to the children, "Give it your all!" gave a tremendous boost to the class.
The class this year was given cooperation from Gakken Science Creation Institute. Its director Hirofumi Yumoto, who is called "an Edison of Gakken," gave a scientific experiment show. A craft workshop entitled "Let's make power-generating helicopters" was also held in the class. Children who participated in the class gave such comments as "The experiment was easy to understand and was a great fun" and "I want to continue studying about electricity."

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The cicada walk impressed many children this year again!

The cicada walk, which has become an annual summer event, was held this year again on the evening of Tuesday, August 5. A total of 45 people including ITOCHU Group employees and their families participated in the event. After receiving explanations from a nature guide, they soon found many pupae emerging from the ground for adult eclosion. Both adults and children were happy at the sight. The nature guide said to them, "Be careful not to step on the cicada pupae, which spent many years under the ground." These words reminded the participants of the value of lives, and they quietly observed the cicadas emerging from pupaes. The children watched the cicadas closely, while their mothers, who are usually afraid of insects, were impressed by the beautiful green color of the cicadas emerging from pupae.
(This event is hosted by the Fureai Network Nature Observation Sessions, a volunteer organization of ITOCHU Group employees.)

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Joint activities with our shareholders to support quake victims
  • "ITOCHU Kodomo no Yume English Summer Camp in Rikuzen-Takata" held as the Fourth Phase of ITOCHU Children's Dreams Fund

For details, visit:

July

Homecoming exhibition of Opa! Uma Alegre Revelação, which links between Japan and Brazil

During July 11 to 31, 2014, ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE presented a homecoming exhibition of Opa! Uma Alegre Revelação. The original exhibition was held in São Paulo in January to March 2014.
This exhibition highlighted pictures drawn freely by children of Japan and Brazil on sheets of drawing paper cut into the shape of the "snail." These pictures were exhibited as a single piece of three-dimensional art work. In this way, an event for cultural exchange of children through art was held in Japan following the one held in São Paulo.
Participants from Japan included children from areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, including Ishinomaki City and Sendai City of Miyagi Prefecture and Iidate Village and Aizu-Wakamatsu City of Fukushima Prefecture. Brazilian children residing in Japan from Oizumi Town, Gunma Prefecture and those from Ibaraki Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture also participated in the exhibition with cooperation of Brazilian consul general in Japan. From Brazil, pictures drawn on the snail-shaped sheets of paper by children from a school in São Paulo, Centro Educacional Pioneiro, who participated in the workshop held on March 11, were exhibited additionally. The total number of pictures reached 3,100, which was a sight to see. In addition, prominent figures in Japan who agreed to the purpose of the event exhibited highly unique works.
The snail art, which develops through participation by children from various countries, well expresses the concept of "Genre Crossing," the theme of collaborations between Junko Koshino, fashion designer, and Go Yayanagi, a contemporary artist.

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A visit by students of Shiga Prefectural Hachiman Commercial Senior High School

Ten students and the principal of Shiga Prefectural Hachiman Commercial Senior High School visited ITOCHU office this year again. This high school is the alma mater of Chubei Itoh II, who is the founder of ITOCHU Corporation. It implements initiatives for having students learn through practice the spirits of Omi merchants, their business methods, and others under the "Omi Mechant Renaissance Project."
We introduced the history and spirits of ITOCHU, while the students reported the results of practical sales training and carried out an exercise. In this way, the extracurricular class was held in an interactive manner.

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The 23rd ITOCHU lobby concert was held brilliantly!

On Wednesday, July 23, a lobby concert by the New York Symphonic Ensemble was held at the lobby on the first floor of ITOCHU Tokyo Headquarters building. Despite the extreme heat of the day, the concert was attended by more than 800 people including customers, former employees, and current employees.
This year, in addition to the talk between actress Keiko Takeshita and Chairman Kobayashi, a joint concert with 35 students from wind orchestra club of Kokugakuin High School, which is located close to the ITOCHU Headquarters, was held in the second part of the event as an initiative for "Community Contribution" and "Growth of Future Generations" in ITOCHU's Basic Activity Guidelines on Social Contribution. Approximately 100 people including parents of the students and high school students in the local community were invited to the joint concert. The audience were excited when the students appeared from the back-row seat with the sound of drums. They played "Space Battleship Yamato" and two other pieces as encores. Prior to the concert, the high-school students had a two-day training session with Conductor Takahara, which really paid off. The audience were moved and highly impressed by the students performing with all their might with a professional orchestra.
Starting from next year, this concert will be held at the Suntory Hall. We will continue to develop new programs for the event, aiming to make it a sampo yoshi event which will allow performers, audience, and organizing staff to have inspiring, enjoyable time together.

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[From Singapore] Environmental Clean-up at the Botanical "Gardens by the Bay"

On July 19th, employee volunteers from ITOCHU Singapore Pte Ltd and ITOCHU Plastics Pte., Ltd. conducted an environmental clean-up activity in Singapore's largest botanical garden, which was opened in 2012, with the goal of increasing Singapore's appeal as a garden city.
The weather was gracious to us and the activity started from the morning. We began with some weeding to spruce up certain areas of the garden that were becoming a little unkempt. The task was harder than we anticipated, and everyone was soon focused intently on it. When we had finished, everyone was smiling with the sense of a job well done. It was definitely a wonderful thing for employees and families of all ages to come together for a good cause.

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An extracurricular class of a Brazilian school

On Friday, July 18, ITOCHU Tokyo Headquarters accepted 25 children from Instituto Educacional Gente Miúda, a Brazilian school located in Oizumi Town, Oura County, Gunma Prefecture. They visited the office for an extracurricular class.
The children received an address of welcome from Advisor Washizu and attended a workshop on "Snail Art" given by Ms. Junko Koshino, a fashion designer, and Mr. Go Yanagi, a contemporary artist. They were also given explanations about works of a trading company by an employee related to Brazil and deepened their understanding of the relationship between ITOCHU and their home country.

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Ceremony of presenting children's books to Brazilian schools in Japan

ITOCHU decided to donate sets of "100 Children's Books" selected by ITOCHU Foundation and cypress book shelves to ten Brazilian schools in Japan under the jurisdiction of the Consulate-General of Brazil in Tokyo. The presentation ceremony was held on Friday, July 18, attended by the Consul General of Brazil in Tokyo, Executive Vice President Seki, and children representing the schools.

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Support for a panel exhibition for earthquake reconstruction assistance activities held at the United Nations Headquarters

A panel exhibition entitled "Resilience for Tomorrow -- Invitation to WCDRR in Sendai --" was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during Tuesday, July 8 to Friday, July 11. To this event, ITOCHU donated 1,173,486 yen via Aid TAKATA, an NPO that serves as a liaison council for supporting the Rikuzen-Takata City. The amount includes 586,743 yen collected from employees in March during in-house fundraising activities to commemorate the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The company matched the amount from employees and donated the total of 1,173,486 yen.
It was a joint panel exhibition hosted by the government of Japan and exhibited by Rikuzen-Takata City, Sendai City, the International Research Institute of Disaster Science of Tohoku University, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The panels showing damages from the Great East Japan Earthquake, reconstruction efforts that have been made since the disaster, and other contents were displayed in four separate sections of "Disaster," "Ties," "Reconstruction," and "Future."
At the ceremony held on Wednesday, July 9, local specialties of the disaster-affected areas were served to attendants. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Motohide Yoshikawa, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations. From ITOCHU, CEO Harada of ITOCHU International Inc. participated in the ceremony.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Support for a panel exhibition for earthquake reconstruction assistance activities held at the United Nations Headquarters

For details, visit:

June

[From New York] Employees Joined a Charity Run

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On June 19, over 50 employees of ITOCHU International Inc. and ITOCHU Prominent USA ran or walked the 3.5-mile J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park. We are proud to be a part of a global event benefiting the Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization, which restores, manages and enhances one of New York's most important assets, Central Park. Our participants were among approximately 30,000 runners from 638 companies. They all enjoyed the race, which also increased recognition of our company.

Co-sponsorship for the Eco-friendly Activity Report in the KIDZANIA AWARD PROGRAM 2014

ITOCHCU Corporation, which operates the Eco Shop pavilion at KidZania Tokyo as its official sponsor, co-sponsored a program, Eco-friendly Activity Report hosted by KidZania Tokyo. KidZania Tokyo solicited for reports in April and May, and ITOCHU granted the ITOCHU Corporation Award to three children.
The theme for the ITOCHU Corporation Award was report of "an eco-friendly idea which leads to many smiles on earth." The Award went to "Strategy for not discharging pollution into water" by Run-chan♡415, "Water used for washing rice, plants, and environmental problems" by Chihi, and "Vaccine from second-hand clothes: From me to my friends" by feiye. They were granted My Bottle with MOTTAINAI Campaign Design as the extra prize.
In addition to the above, a large number of creative ideas were proposed by children. We hope they will continue to enjoy carrying out eco-friendly activities by looking at environmental problems with their own eyes.

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The Mobile Learning Centre Project was launched in India!

ITOCHU Corporation and Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization for supporting children, has launched the Mobile Learning Centre Project in Mumbai, India, for about 1,000 children including street children and those involved in child labor. The project is aimed at helping children to reconnect to and cope with mainstream schooling, and a total of 20 million yen will be donated to support the project in the coming two years. The bus used as the Mobile Learning Centre is wrapped with pictures. It is furnished with benches and blackboard and equipped with a small library so that it will look like a real school classroom. Two education facilitators and a counselor have been assigned to the mobile classroom, where children are given opportunities to enjoy learning with educational materials including audio and video.

  • The photo shows the opening ceremony held in India on Thursday, June 12.
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Thirty-two third grade students of Aoyama Elementary School visited the company for extracurricular class this year again.

A total of 32 third grade students of Aoyama Elementary School near the Tokyo Headquarters of ITOCHU Corporation visited our office for an extracurricular class on Friday, June 13. Through the windows facing the four directions, the children curiously looked at the Tokyo Skytree, Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium, National Stadium, the cluster of high-rise buildings in Shinjuku, and other buildings and places. They eagerly wrote down whatever they saw in their notebooks. Their teacher gave us a comment, "I am happy to see the children making observations proactively."

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The "Exhibition of Edokiriko by 16 Young Artists" at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE started to attract a great number of visitors as early as on the first day.

On Friday, June 6, the "Exhibition of Edokiriko by 16 Young Artists" was started at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE. An opening reception was held on the first day and attended by a large number of visitors including people from embassies. The theme of the exhibition was blue. Each artisan's vision of blue was expressed brilliantly through their Edokiriko and their techniques.

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Second anniversary of the Eco Shop pavilion at KidZania Tokyo and start of the activity of making "Soap from Recycled Material"

Two years after the opening of the Eco Shop pavilion at KidZania Tokyo, of which ITOCHU has been an official sponsor, a large number of children have participated in conservation activities at the pavilion.
The Eco Shop Pavilion provides children with fun opportunities to learn about environmental conservation through activities of creating original environmentally-friendly products. And for every child who participates, the amount equivalent to the cost of one tree sapling will be donated to the Green Belt Movement, a tree planting campaign established by the late Professor Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental activist. As of the end of March 2014, ITOCHU had donated cost for about 60,000 tree saplings to the campaign. This initiative is exclusive to KidZania Tokyo. That is, among 16 KidZania facilities in 13 countries, KidZania Tokyo is the only facility that takes this initiative. It is highly evaluated by many other KidZania facilities in the world.
A new activity of making "Soap from Recycled Material" will be started on June 27. We hope that many children will visit the pavilion.

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Tree-planting activity(Photo provided by Mainichi Shimbun)
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Children making soap from a recycled material

May

Participating in the activities of the "Corporate Furusato" program in Amano village, Wakayama Prefecture, for the sixth consecutive year

On Saturday, May 24, we participated in joint volunteer activities with Amano no Satozukuri no Kai, a local village development organization, at Katsuragi-Town, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture. The area is surrounded by the Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, a world heritage site, and others. A total of 81 ITOCHU Corporation employees and their families and about 50 people from Amano no Satozukuri no Kai participated in the activities.
This "Corporate Furusato" program is a joint activity program involving companies and people from rural areas. It is aimed at promoting production of safe, secure rice and local production for local consumption by making use of local resources. It is also aimed at preserving the landscape of the area. The program is implemented with cooperation from the labor union, and the Textile Company uses it as a program for training young employees.
The weather was kind on the day, and participants planted rice and pulled up weeds to preserve the landscape from Futatsu Torii, or twin shrine gate. In the lunch time, the participants enjoyed rice harvested last year, locally produced vegetables, and other foods, deepening exchanges with people from Amano no Satozukuri no Kai. Harvesting of rice is planned on Saturday, September 27. All of the participants left the village with a hope that the rice would grow in abundance.

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Participating in the WFP Walk the World for Africa this year again

The WFP Walk the World for Africa, a charity event for ending hunger in developing countries, was held this year again in Yokohama on Sunday, May 18.
A total of 270 employees of ITOCHU Corporation and ITOCHU Group and their families participated in this event. They walked vigorously in the city of Yokohama, praying for end of hunger. A portion of the entry fee is donated to the School Meal Programme of the United Nations World Food Programme.

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"Bicycle Expo 2014 In Aoyama" held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

The Bicycle Expo, which was highly acclaimed last year, was held this year again under the theme of "Legend - the one bike to pass down." Bicycles exhibited this year included one named "Orange" that was owned by the late rock singer Kiyoshiro Imawano, the most-treasured models of bicycle fans, and precious models from other countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. The exhibition was highly successful, attracting a large number of visitors each day.
Events in commemoration of the National Bicycle Month such as a talk show on bicycles and test-ride event were also held at the venue. Among them, the "Bicycle Science Class" was a highly productive program, in which participants experienced shifting the gear while riding and received instructions for safe riding from Akasaka Police Station. The accumulated total number of visitors to ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE reached 50,000 during the period of this event, or on Saturday, May 10.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Support given to a volleyball team and baseball team of Nakano Elementary School of Sendai City as a part of ITOCHU Children's Dreams Fund
  • Ceremony for planting "Takata no Yume", the new local brand rice of Rikuzen-Takata City

For details, visit:

April

Operation of the Warhol Bus for "The Andy Warhol Inspired Exhibition" held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

ITOCHU provided the "Warhol Bus", a free shuttle bus service between ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE as the venue of "The Andy Warhol Inspired Exhibition" and the Mori Art Museum, where the exhibition "Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal" was held cosponsored by ITOCHU. The bus ran on Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20. The bus was specially wrapped in a colorful design and ran between venues of the two events, which were linked with each other and held in Minato-ku in the same period.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Support given to Rowing Club of Iwate Prefectural Yamada High School
  • Volunteer Activities - Employee volunteers support quake victims

For details, visit:

March

Aonoinori, the event for requiem for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and reconstruction at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE

Being planned with hopes of disaster recovery, "Happy Island - Blossoming in the Future -- Art Exhibition 'God of Flowers - Advent (I)' by IKEBANA Artist Hiroki Maeno" was held from Saturday, March 8 to Sunday, March 16 with the hope of reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Aonoinori took place as an event for expressing the wish for recovery using flower, music and Noh dancing on Monday, March 10, the day before the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Hiroki Maeno, IKEBANA Artist , put flowers on the driftwood coming from the affected area, and Reijiro Tsumura, a Noh performer, performed dances along with the musical performance by Iwao Furusawa, a violinist, and Keiko Daito, a cellist. Their performance aimed at giving a prayer for requiem and regeneration. Over one hundred audiences visited the gallery despite the cold weather like the day of the disaster, watching the performance in silence.

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • Volunteer Activities - Employee volunteers support quake victims

For details, visit:

February

The silver leaf craft workshop by Yuuki Sori

"Iro no tsuranari" - Japanese Painting Exhibition by Yuuki Sori is being held at ITOCHU AOYAMA ART SQUARE until Friday, February 28. The exhibition attracts attention with the pictures of flowers and trees painted on gold foil or sliver foil, which show a new aspect of Japanese painting.
A silver leaf craft workshop was carried out twice a day on Sunday, February 16 and Saturday, February 23 respectively. Participants at a broad set of ages experienced gilding extremely thin and delicate silver leaf and painting pictures with an anticorrosion liquid. They also enjoyed listening to direct explanations on his works by the artist and watching live public painting. It was such a valuable opportunity.

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Baseball workshop for the children with disabilities

The 7th ITOCHU Baseball Workshop took place on Saturday, February 22. The ex-baseball player coached children with disabilities and their family members to teach the enjoyment of baseball at Meijijingu Gaien indoor baseball practice field where professional baseball players play games.
Each child was attended by a volunteer ITOCHU group employee or an ITOCHU baseball club member for support. The two-hour-and-a-half workshop ended successfully, being filled with cheers and laughter of children all the time. All the participants promised to meet again next year.

Group companies that participated as volunteers:
ITOCHU Urban Community Ltd., ITOCHU-SHOKUHIN Co., Ltd., ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, ITOCHU PLASTICS INC., ITOCHU Pension Fund, CONEXIO Corporation and NIPPON ACCESS, INC

Thank you very much for you cooperation.

We received thankful messages from participants' families. Here are some of them, telling that children were pleased.

  • We were very satisfied, finding the event appropriately scaled. First of all, you handled us very nicely. Children want to participate again next year definitely. Thank you very much.
  • We were very glad to see children alight with expectation and excitement. Volunteers were very nice to us.

The ITOCHU Baseball Workshop will continue in the future.

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Personal chopsticks production activity to be commenced at KidZania Tokyo Eco Shop Pavilion on February 27

The personal chopsticks production activity will be started at ITOCHU-sponsored KidZania Tokyo Eco Shop Pavilion on February 27. The production of personal chopsticks is the activity in which children choose their favorite symbols and characters, inscribe them on chopsticks with a special carving machine, polishing the chopsticks with a rasp and beeswax to make their original easy-to-use chopstick set. Children can take a rasp and beeswax home so that they can further process their chopsticks at home and perform maintenance for polishing. We hope they will use their personal chopsticks for years as one of the environmentally friendly items, foster the idea of taking good care of things and become more conscious of environmental preservation, for example, by using their personal chopsticks instead of disposable ones.
At KidZania Tokyo Eco Shop Pavilion, a contribution for a seedling will be made to Green Belt Movement, the tree planting campaign in Kenya, every time a child takes part in an activity.

We hope many more children will participate in the activity to learn and enjoy getting involved in solution of global environmental issues.
For details, visit:

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Supporting Recovery from the Earthquake

  • "Rikuzen-Takata Photo Exhibition" and "Takaya no Yume Exhibition"

For details, visit:

January

Blood donation call by Japan Red Cross Society at Tokyo Head Office Building

Many employees of ITOCHU and its group companies donated blood, responding to the call for blood by Japan Red Cross Society on Tuesday, January 21 again. The donated blood will be widely used for treatment as well as surgical operations.