OISCA Reports Supporting Corporations on Miyagi Coastal Forest Restoration Project
On November 25, OISCA held at its headquarters in Tokyo a reporting session on the current progress of its 10-year Coastal Forest Restoration Project which has been underway in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture following the gigantic Great East Japan Earthquake disaster in March 2011. A total of 18 representatives from the 15 private corporations and organizations faithfully supporting the Project braved to take part in the meeting despite the cold rainy weather.
At the outset, Ms. Mizuho Kakinuma, Director of the Division for Domestic Operations, welcomed the participants and expressed deep gratitude for the generous financial, logistic and material support extended for the Project by the various corporations and organizations over the past 5 years.
Then, Mr. Toshimichi Yoshida, Deputy Director of the Division for Domestic Operations who is responsible for the overall operations of the Project, took the floor to brief on the latest developments at the project site in Natori. Following the first planting of 80,000 black pine and indigenous species seedlings over 16 hectares of the coastal area in 2014, additional 50,000 seedlings were planted over 8.42 hectares in 2015 by the local disaster-affected farmers, professional forestry workers and also a large number of Japanese and foreign volunteers from Natori City, the neighboring municipalities and other parts of the country. The locally-generated job opportunities reached 2,247 persons in the 4 years up the end of March 2015. The cumulative number of volunteers mobilized is expected to reach 5,255 persons since 2011.
In addition to raising seedlings and tree planting on the field, OISCA has conducted various kinds of public relations and awareness activities. On-site observation tours were organized and 2,610 persons participated, seminars/report meetings were held 127 times and photo exhibitions 55 times. The cumulative media coverage totaled 166 times in Japan and 61 times in 54 foreign countries and areas.
OISCA has continued vigorous fundraising activities both in Japan and overseas. The donations received so far amount to 400 million Japanese yen in the 4 years up to the end of March 2015.
After the briefing by the OISCA official, the representatives of the supporting companies and organizations respectively made presentations on their specific methods of supporting the OISCA Project. Almost all the corporations and organizations have donated a significant amount of money and dispatched their staff as volunteers for helping seedlings raising and planting, weeding and other field work at the nurseries and the tree-planting site in Natori.
Aside from direct monetary donations and mobilizing volunteers, a few of them are carrying out unique schemes for supporting the Project. For example, Maeda Corporation, a general construction company, has provided materials for putting up the Natori field office, warehouse for equipment, windbreak nets and plastic greenhouses at the nurseries. Maeda employees volunteered to install these facilities on the field. Nikon Corporation which has a factory in Natori, prepared free of charge photo panels of the Project and sponsored photo exhibitions in Natori, Sendai and other places.
Four companies belonging to the Saitama Toyopet Group are implementing original measures. Saitama Toyopet Co., Ltd. donates 50 yen per 100 grams when a customer orders replacing the car engine oil. Saitama Toyopet Vehicle Land Carriage Co., Ltd. dealing in land transportation of vehicles encourages its employees to carry out safe driving so as to ensure eradicating traffic accidents. If there is no traffic accident attributable to the company on a monthly basis, they defray 10,000 yen to support. Toyota Rent-A-Lease Co., Ltd. Shin-Saitama donates 15 yen per day when a client returns a rented car without traffic accident at its shop, while their leasing and administrative departments provide donation money of 10 yen per day when there is no car accident. Happo Life Saisei, a group company dealing in collection, transportation and disposal of industrial wastes, donates 40 yen per 100kg of collected wastes when a client asks for collection and disposal of used Styrofoam boxes.