For Maiko Muraoka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Nov 6, 2023
Oji Holdings, Japan’s leading paper manufacturer, is also its largest corporate forest owner. It studies and develops paper products and related materials and is committed to the maintenance of healthy forests. In a recent interview with The Japan Times, the general manager of Oji’s department on forest value creation, Motosaburo Saito, talked about the company’s new efforts in pursuing its commitment.
Aug 18, 2023
Western Japan’s Tottori Prefecture, lying on the Sea of Japan and boasting the famous Mount Daisen and other peaks, has been a major beef-producing area since the Edo Period. Japan’s least populous prefecture is blessed with rich nature and clean air, abundant groundwater and high-quality straw — everything needed for raising healthy cattle. Ketaka cattle, the origin of many of the renowned wagyu brands across the country, were bred in this area.
Mar 6, 2023
Data is an important element in sustainable regional development. “The Sustainable Smart City Partner Program (SSPP) is carrying out projects to use data in visualizing regional attractions and solving regional issues in various cities across the country,” said Yojiro Onaru, senior manager of NTT Corp.’s Smart City, Strategic Business Development Division, in a recent online interview by The Japan Times. The true value of data emerges only when it is effectively used.
Feb 27, 2023
There is not one place in Japan where Seino Holdings Co. Ltd. doesn’t provide delivery service. Seino is one of Japan’s top commercial logistics companies, with 90 years of history, but if its own network is insufficient, it is ready to cooperate with others to make sure things get delivered to their destinations, wherever they are.
Feb 7, 2023
The city of Mutsu in Aomori Prefecture is one of the most ambitious and open rural municipalities in Japan. It not only works to revitalize its area in sustainable ways using existing geographic, natural, historic and cultural resources but also collaborates with international players to promote the city’s charms globally.
Dec 19, 2022
“There is nothing in this town” — this is a phrase you too often hear when asking a resident of a rural area in Japan about places to go and things to see. And it was exactly what many participants said in 2018 at the first residents’ workshop for the promotion of the area surrounding the central part of the Ibaraki prefecture city of Tsukuba.
Dec 13, 2022
“Today Birds, Tomorrow Humans.” This is the slogan created by Japanese beverage giant Suntory Holdings when it started bird conservation activities in 1973. It indicates that various environmental risks affecting wildlife will come to hurt people as well. The company initially established a bird sanctuary at the Suntory Hakushu Distillery in Yamanashi Prefecture and published its first newspaper ad advocating the importance of conserving nature, with an illustration of wild birds. That was followed by a series of more than 100 ads published across different newspapers. In an era of rapid economic growth, the industry-leading company’s running of ads that didn’t tout its products at all gained plenty of attention and received the Asahi Advertising Award.
Nov 28, 2022
The first item launched in the Nepi Eco series, a lineup of environmentally conscious products introduced by Oji Nepia Co. Ltd. in 2021, was toilet paper. Oji Nepia is a subsidiary of Oji Holdings, one of the world’s major pulp and paper producers, headquartered in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward. This year, kitchen paper towels, tissues and masks were added to the series. In a recent interview with The Japan Times, Tomoko Takase from the Product Planning Division of Oji Nepia talked about the new ideas and efforts that have been put into these products and underlie Oji’s commitment toward a better global environment.
Nov 24, 2022
Among many delicacies in Japan, Tottori Wagyu beef and its history is worth learning to make one’s gastronomic life rich. Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai and Shinsuke Nakajima, Executive Managing Director and Executive Chef of New Otani Co., Ltd. talked about the charms of the wagyu as well as other produce and the blessed environment of the prefecture in a recent interview with the Japan Times. The interview took place at Seisen-tei, a Teppanyaki restaurant located in the Japanese Garden of The New Otani Tokyo hotel where Tottori Wagyu Fair is being held until Dec. 16.
Nov 7, 2022
Among all the wagyu brands in Japan, Tottori Wagyu Olein 55 is especially flavorful and light because of its high oleic acid content. Oleic acid, the main component of olive oil, is said to enhance the meat’s tenderness and smoothness on the palate. To promote Tottori Wagyu brands, including Tottori Wagyu Olein 55, the prefecture held a gala event on Oct. 25 at Argento, a contemporary French restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza area, in collaboration with the renowned international culinary competition Bocuse d’Or, Argento and Hiramatsu, the hospitality company that runs Argento.
Oct 24, 2022
In recent years, concepts such as smart cities and sustainable urban development have attracted attention in discussions on community development. But there is little point in trying to define them in a way that works for any city, because every region is unique. Efforts should be directed at finding out what technologies and sustainable efforts work best for each particular community.
Aug 29, 2022
Giving back to society is what Suntory Holdings, a global leader in the beverage industry, has been committed to in many ways since its founding in 1899. One of them is its environmental efforts. Long before sustainability became a general concern of the overall international community, Suntory engaged in various activities to preserve nature in line with its corporate mission statement, “To create harmony with people and nature.”
Aug 15, 2022
OAT Agrio Co. Ltd. operates its business with the corporate philosophy of “We contribute to the people of the world with our agrotechnology and sincerity.” Listed on the Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the company was established in 2010 through a management buyout from Otsuka Chemical Co., a member of the Otsuka Holding Co. group. “At that time, projections announced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations showed that an increase in food production of about 70% is necessary to feed the world population of over 9 billion people by 2050,” said Hisashi Oka, president and CEO of OAT Agrio, in a recent online interview with The Japan Times.
Mar 28, 2022
On the outskirts of Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, there is a homey place called Tamaribar, a play on words combining “tamariba” (“hangout”) and “bar.” It serves local delicacies, the kind that people eat everyday without noticing their value, like fresh eggs with locally grown rice. It also sells souvenirs and fresh-picked vegetables, holds various events and rents the space for new activities such as cooking lessons. But the most valuable thing you can get at Tamaribar, if you are looking to learn about the area or considering moving there, is connections with local people.
Mar 10, 2022
Seino Holdings Co. Ltd. is one of Japan’s top commercial logistics companies, with about 90 years of history. In recent years, the Gifu-based company has been accelerating its efforts to make its services sustainable and environmentally friendly without sacrificing people’s quality of life and convenience.
Mar 10, 2022
The World Federation of Rose Societies’ 20th World Rose Convention will be held in the Hiroshima Prefecture city of Fukuyama from May 18 to 24, 2025. The triennial convention on roses is the largest event of the World Federation of Rose Societies, which has a history of 50 years and about 40 member countries.
Mar 9, 2022
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