Mita Kosan Co. Ltd., a real estate developer and leasing company, is housed in an office building right across the road from Keio University’s East Gate in the Mita district of Tokyo’s Minato Ward. The area has a uniquely mixed atmosphere: premium and academic, yet homey with a lot of small local eateries and shops.

President Masamichi Idemitsu, who was born and raised in Mita, launched the company three years ago with a passion to contribute to his home district. “I still live in this area, interacting with our tenants, other business contacts, local shop owners and residents every day. I’ve just come back from lunch at a soba noodle shop around the corner,” he said.

Most of the buildings that the company owns or manages are in Mita. The main feature of the MA Building Mita, completed in November 2023, is its environmentally and human-friendly design and facilities. “One of the elevators is spacious enough for a stretcher in case of an emergency, and an accessible toilet is installed on the ground floor. The building has a rooftop garden and wall greenery in the entrance area, contributing to the environment and the well-being of users,” he said.

“The building has acquired ZEB Ready certification, one of the four levels of the net-zero energy buildings promoted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment,” Idemitsu explained. The certification is granted to buildings that have achieved a 50% reduction in energy use compared to conventional buildings of the same size. The building will soon be equipped with battery chargers for electric cars. Two-thirds of the buildings it owns will get electricity 100% from renewable sources such as wind power. The electricity will be supplied by Idemitsu Green Power K.K., owned by Idemitsu Kosan Co., an energy company with a history of over a century founded by Idemitsu’s grandfather Sazo Idemitsu. Similar efforts have also been steadily made for the company’s existing buildings, which are filled with a variety of domestic and international tenants, including from China, Australia and Hungary. “I interview every potential tenant myself to make sure that our buildings are rented to those who benefit the community regardless of their country of origin,” Idemitsu said.

The MA building Mita, completed in November
The MA building Mita, completed in November | MITA KOSAN

Mita Kosan also tries to maintain close and lasting relationships with its tenants. “We invite not only our tenants but also many other stakeholders, including real estate agents, to our annual tennis event, where participants can enjoy the rare opportunity of interacting and playing with Naho Sato and Naoki Tajima, professional tennis players that we sponsor,” he said. Sato is a graduate of Keio, which is also Idemitsu’s alma mater. The company provides support to the university’s English-taught Global Passport Program and a CEMS master’s program in international management. Idemitsu, who studied abroad in Saudi Arabia during his college years, places importance on international exchange. “I was immersed in a truly international environment in Saudi Arabia, my second home. I had human-to-human interactions with students from all corners of the world, which I think is necessary to achieve global peace,” he said. He encourages Japanese and foreign students to learn from each other in the university’s multinational environment. “Just as the university is open to students of diverse nationalities, the district of Mita is also home to many foreign residents and workers,” he said, stressing that the foreign population is an important part of Mita’s community. “One of our buildings is rented to the Hungarian Embassy, and there are several other embassies in this area.”

“To keep the community vibrant and attractive, we need every stakeholder’s engagement, including residents, companies, administrators, schools, hospitals and local shopping streets,” Idemitsu said. As a proactive member of the community, Mita Kosan is a supporter of the Mita Festival, held every July. The company has also been a “green sponsor” for Tokyo Saiseikai Central Hospital, providing financial support to maintain indoor plants. “I hope the greenery helps soothe the minds of those who are hospitalized for a long time and those who visit the hospital frequently,” he said.

In addition, the company recently decided to let a Mita neighborhood association use a room in one of its buildings for free for its meetings and activities. “We will continue to do what we can for the district and to connect people, not only as a real estate developer but also as an active member of the community,” Idemitsu said.Mita Kosan is a member of the Sustainable Japan Network, a group of companies that cooperate with this newspaper to spread information about sustainability in Japan. You can also be part of the network; scan the QR code for more details.