On April 28, the award ceremony for the 30th Grand Prize of the Global Environment Award sponsored by Fujisankei Communications Group was held at the Meiji Kinenkan in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. Certificates and trophies were presented to the recipients in the presence of HRH Crown Prince Akishino and HRH Princess Kako, who attended the ceremony.
Sekisui House won the grand prize for its contribution to biodiversity conservation by planting a total of 1.79 million trees. President and CEO Yoshihiro Nakai said, “We will continue to share our accumulated expertise in biodiversity conservation with society and expand our conservation activities.”
Addressing the audience, Hisashi Hieda, President of the Fujisankei Group, said, “Strong Japanese leadership is needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieve carbon neutrality.” He also reiterated his commitment to “advance the creation of a prosperous and vibrant country by balancing environment and economy through this awards program.”
Fujio Mitarai, Canon Chairman and CEO, who serves as Chairman of the Awards Program Committee, said, “We will strive to further improve the social standing of this award and continue to contribute to the sustainable development of society and economy.”
Crown Prince and Princess congratulate the recipients
Although no reception was held on April 28 as a precaution against COVID-19, the honorees had the opportunity to meet HRH Crown Prince Akishino and Princess Kako before the ceremony.
CEO Nakai of Sekisui House, the grand prize winner, recalled, “Crown Prince Akishino said to me, ‘If the tree planting network is expanded, it will have the same effect as building parks.'”
METI Minister of Kyushu Electric Power Award
Michiaki Uriu, chairman of Kyushu Electric Power, the recipient of the Ministerial Prize of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), stressed that the company was commended for its biodiversity protection efforts undertaken in cooperation with local residents. He expressed his wishes for the future:
“By continuing these efforts, we hope to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.”
Each year, the company works with 800 to 900 local residents to carry out a controlled burn in the wetlands of Kuju Bogatsuru in Oita Prefecture to protect the environment.
MEXT Ministerial Award for Nakui Agricultural High School
The Ministerial Prize of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) went to Nakui Agricultural High School in Aomori Prefecture. Principal Tomoo Koizumi expressed his delight, saying, “We are delighted that the fruits of our research, including the efforts of our graduates, have been recognized.”
The school has been acclaimed both in Japan and abroad for its efforts in supporting agriculture in developing countries and has received various awards. According to Principal Koizumi, the crown prince and princess said to him, “I often hear the name of your school. They all work very hard.”
Mizuho Nakai, a 17-year-old third-year student and leader of the research group, said, “The spirit of mutual aid was the motto of our research. I want to continue to help those in need through the power of agriculture while leveraging the perspectives of high school students.”
TIED TOGETHER: The Sekisui house receives the grand prize at the “30. Global Environment Awards”
(Read the stories on which this report is based in Japanese, here and here.)
Author: The Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Forward