Forest Conservation Project "Mitsubishi Corporation Thousand Year Forest"
Mitsubishi Corporation Thousand Year Forest
MC began a forest development business in Aki City, Kochi Prefecture, the birthplace of Mitsubishi founder Yataro Iwasaki. This was MC's first forest conservation initiative in Japan. MC will take forest land in Aki City into its care, as a company-owned forest, with the aim of contribution to the protection of the regional environment. In addition, a 263-hectare expanse of forest, which includes some land owned by Aki City, has been named the "Mitsubishi Corporation Thousand Year Forest (also known as Yataro's Forest)." MC intends to conduct forest management and conservation initiatives.
Deforestation is recognized as having an enormous impact on the global environment, such as by exacerbating global warming and causing abnormal weather. For this reason, and for the purpose of conserving our natural and ecological systems such as the flora and fauna that depend on and live in forests, there is a growing need for forest development businesses.
As part of MC's environmental and CSR activities, we have been conducting the "Tropical Forest Regeneration Project" in Malaysia, Brazil and Kenya, and promoting forest development activities in China, Thailand and other countries. In addition to these projects abroad, we also make it our purpose to conduct new environmental conservation in Japan. Together with Kochi Prefecture, Aki City and Aki Branch of the Kochi Tobu Forestry Association, we have embarked on a cooperative endeavor to develop forest. MC has joined an alliance of environmentally progressive companies for the promotion of forest restoration, which is being led by Kochi Prefecture, the home of MC's founder, whose land area is about 84% forest.
On February 3, 2009, the signing ceremony for a forest preservation partnership agreement was conducted by the four parties involved in the Kochi Prefectural Office. From this point forward, our plans for the "Thousand Year Forest" are to conserve the forest to improve its functions that serve the public interest such as its water conservation function, and for MC employees and the local community to experience nature, participate in volunteer activities and utilize the forest as a place of environmental education.
The forest conservation activities of our founder's home have a profound meaning for us as a means to appreciate and give back to the land that gave us our company.
The "Thousand Year Forest" is located in the Becchaku area in Aki City, Kochi Prefecture, which is close to the border with Tokushima Prefecture, and serves as the watershed for Aki City's water supply. It covers an area about 56 times the size of Tokyo Dome. The forest boasts rich diversity; in addition to cedar, beech and Japanese cypress, it is also home to species such as fir and mizunara oak.
It also serves as the habitat for various animals and birds such as Japanese serow, Japanese dormouse and ruddy kingfisher.
- Well-known for its yuzu (a citrus fruit) and its eggplants (it is Japan's biggest eggplant producer)
- The Nora Clock, a nationally registered tangible cultural property, is the symbol of Aki City.
- The "Yataro" runs from Kochi through Aki to Nahari on the Tosa Kuroshio Railway Gomen-Nahari Line. At each station along the way are paintings of the cute character creations of Mr. Takashi Yanase, a manga artist who hails from the region.
- House where Yataro Iwasaki was born. The house still has its original thatched roof.
- Kankei Temple, which is where the ancestors of the Iwasaki Family are entombed. In 1901, on the occasion of Yataro's 17th Memorial Service, the temple received donation funding to construct the main hall, the bell tower and the temple gate.
- Statue of Yataro Iwasaki located in the city's central area