Panasonic Corporate Citizenship News

Panasonic is working to create a more sustainable world.
Individual employee also carries out proactive social activities as global citizen with the theme "education and coexistence".


Japan: Environmental activity for next generation at the Ogasawara Islands - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The "World Heritage Eco Learning Program" started in Japan this year. Over the course of the year, Panasonic will host World Heritage educational activities in six different countries. This report introduces one such activity at the Ogasawara Islands south of Tokyo!

Between June 26 (Thursday) and 28 (Saturday), Panasonic hosted an "Environmental activity for the next generation at the Ogasawara Islands - a UNESCO World Heritage Site". The particular island chosen for the event was Chichi-jima. In collaboration with "Kids Witness News", a video production support program also provided by Panasonic, the activity included a workshop where the children of Ogasawara could record video to send to people all round the world and help protect their World Heritage Site. A total of 43 pupils from Ogasawara Elementary School were joined at the activity by 12 children from the Ogasawara Lions Club, which is taking part in the Kids Witness News Initiative.

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On June 26 (Thursday), a ceremony was held to introduce the staff and 12 children from the Ogasawara Lions Club, who will take part in the "Kids Witness News (KWN)" video production support program, to the elementary school children. Ide, the teacher in charge, gave a welcome address. A discussion was then held as to what kind of video to produce during the workshop on June 28, and what to show to the pupils in Vietnam during the video summit.

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June 27 (Friday) was a day for UNESCO World Heritage environmental education. The staff travelled to Ogasawara Elementary School, where they were met by 43 fifth- and sixth-year pupils in the library. The day began with a talk from Takahashi of Panasonic, who spoke about World Heritage and introduced activities being promoted by children in various different countries to protect their heritage sites in the form of a quiz.
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This was then followed by a special lecture by Kazuo Horikoshi, Director of the Institute of Boninology (NPO). He gave an easy-to-understand explanation of how the plants and animals that live on the Ogasawara Islands crossed the sea to reach there in the first place.

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After the lecture, the participants went outside into the school gardens to conduct fieldwork using Panasonic's HC-BKK1 "Boken-kun" educational digital video cameras. They split into groups to experience filming video on two different themes - "Typical Ogasawara scenery" and "Good things about Ogasawara". Everyone enjoyed themselves greatly.
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June 28 (Saturday) featured the Kids Witness News (KWN) workshop during the morning. The children divided themselves up into various roles to record the videos - such as cameramen, directors, voiceover, and audio recording. Finally the filming began. Although they seemed nervous at first, they soon found their smiles again. Were they able to say everything they planned to say in front of the camera?

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The afternoon allowed the children to engage with other children in Vietnam via a smart television. They enjoyed getting to know each other better with quizzes, dances, and songs. One quiz question from Ogasawara was "Do you like Japan?" - to which every single Vietnamese child answered "I love Japan!"

Panasonic Corporation signed a strategic partnership contract with the UNESCO World Heritage Center on June 3, 2011 with the aim of helping conserve UNESCO World Heritage and promoting sustainable growth through environmental education for the next generation. As part of our related initiatives, we are promoting environmental education for the next generation at World Heritage Sites around the world, and have already conducted such activities at 13 different countries.

Japan: Further promotion for Eco Monogatari (Eco Stories) in-school lessons program

In Japan, Panasonic is working harder than ever to promote its Eco Stories in-school lessons program, one of the central pillars of the company's initiatives to support education for the next generation.

This is a sociology and environmental sciences program that teaches schoolchildren about historical advances in home appliances, and how people in manufacturing are working hard in their respective roles to help solve environmental issues. In doing so, the program aims to encourage the children to consider what they can be doing as well.

The program fits in with a unit of the sociology curriculum for fifth-year elementary school students, and has also been used as part of the Eco Learning Program (ELP) being promoted around the world.

In addition to the members of the Corporate Citizenship Group, a total of 65 instructors from Panasonic have donated their time to this program in FY2011, with lessons having been held in 131 elementary schools and six junior high schools (total 9,105 students) as of the end of November. By the end of the fiscal year, it is planned that lessons will have been held in around 200 different schools, with educational materials supplied to about 200 schools as well.

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Japan: Panasonic ECO RELAY for Sustainable Earth

Panasonic Partnership Program at Yashiro Forest Park working together to create a dream forest full of life - with Gifu butterflies


Together with their families, employees of Panasonic and SANYO have launched a conservation initiative for the Gifu butterfly, a species regarded as Vulnerable with an increasing danger of extinction in Endangered Species, at Yashiro Forest Park in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. Of the many Japanese butterfly species, the Gifu butterfly has been a focus for particular conservation activity, and takes its habitat in the satoyama woodland (areas of rich biodiversity near human settlements in the countryside) on the main Japanese island of Honshu.

During the butterfly's larval stage, it feeds on Japanese wild ginger (Heterotropa aspera) and asarum takaoi (Heterotropa takaoi), while eggs are also deposited on the same plants. The butterflies mature into adults in spring. In protecting these satoyama by thinning out the bamboo, cutting and trimming back the broad-leaved deciduous forest, and clearing away the fallen leaves, the volunteers from Panasonic plan to conserve the butterflies' natural habitat and continue to develop a "dream forest full of Gifu butterflies."

Biodiversity conservation activities launched in Hotani, Osaka Prefecture


Employees of the Panasonic and SANYO have launched a satoyama woodland conservation initiative in Hotani, Osaka Prefecture, which has been selected as one of the "100 Country Villages of Japan."

The Panasonic employees will continue to work with local NPOs on a regular basis to promote activities such as cleaning up abandoned rice terraces and protecting the plants and animals that find their habitats in Hotani.

Prizewinners decided for 17th Eco Relay Photo Contest


The 17th ECO RELAY Photo Contest attracted a total of 163 entries from 75 people. This year saw a number of works conveying pure emotion and humanism against a background of the surrounding natural environment. Following a strict deliberation process, a total of one ECO RELAY Grand Prize winner, five Awards for Excellence winners, one Special ECO RELAY Award winner, and ten Masterpieces were finally selected. The winner of the Grand Prize, Seiji Mishima, commented as follows: "While taking a two-day, one-night holiday with my friends from my photography club, I noticed a grandfather and his grandchildren happily enjoying fishing together. The looks on the grandchildren's faces were priceless, so I took a picture without a moment's thought."

The chair of the judging panel, Yutaka Kaizuka (member of the Japan Advertising Photographer's Association, The Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography, and the Panasonic Shoaikai), praised the winning entry highly: "This was a powerful, bright, and enjoyable piece with an effective composition. The harmony between the grandfather and his grandchildren is lovely." On the contest, Kaizuka also commented, "Overall, this year's entries featured a larger number of more human pieces, focusing on people in nature. I hope that we will see more entries of people living in harmony with nature next time too, as befitting of our ECO RELAY contest."

Australia: International Exchange using HD Visual Communication System


During May this year, children in Grade four at Cromer Elementary School in Sydney and children in Grade four at the Kansai University affiliated Elementary School in Osaka started an online class together using a HD Visual Communication System. The System enables the students to communicate seamlessly in spite of the distance between Osaka and Sydney, giving rise to natural conversations with minimal delay where students can see each other's expressions and reactions on real video, providing the perfect opportunity for them to learn about each other's countries. Since May, this international exchange class is being conducted once a week for 15-30 minutes, with plans to expand the program to other classes.


On May 25, New South Wales Department of Education staff and members of the press were invited to Cromer School for the unveiling of the Australian-Japanese Exchange Program. The Principal of Cromer Elementary School, Greg Jones said that, "The International Exchange Program at our school is a wonderful example of a way of educating children using global thinking to benefit local communities. Thanks to Panasonic's educational solution system, the children have been able to overcome the barriers of language and distance in their learning, two of the biggest obstacles for a school."

The idea for this international exchange program sprang from collaborative research between the Panasonic Education Foundation and the Faculty of Informatics at Kansai University. Staff from the Panasonic Education Foundation also expressed their high expectations, saying "Of course children from both countries are still coming to terms with this new way of learning, but it is exciting to think of how their knowledge and way of thinking will develop from here, as they gain an understanding of a completely different culture.

Japan: Food education classes started using the theme of the rice bread cooker, GOPAN


SANYO Electric has started a new food education class using the theme of GOPAN, a product that proposes a new way of eating rice and is gaining a lot of attention as an effective means of expanding its consumption. The classes, entitled "Rice cooking class - Learn how to cook rice bread!" are themed on rice, the staple food of the Japanese. The classes offer a curriculum to develop students' interests in rice, inspiring them to think about the food they eat on a daily basis. As a new possibility for rice, children get to sample fresh rice bread, while they learn about the special skills and ideas of people who work with rice.


Children in the May 24-class sampled bread prepared using Fusakogane rice from Chiba Prefecture while those in the May 27-class sampled Koshihikari rice from Shiga Prefecture. Through happily stuffed mouths, the reaction of the children to their first taste of rice bread prepared using locally produced rice was: "It looks just like normal bread," "It's soft and yummy," and "The more you chew, the sweeter it gets."

The second half of the lesson encouraged the children to think about the three key phrases of "Local production for local consumption," "Food self-sufficiency ratio," and "Food mileage" with video interviews with the developer of GOPAN and various rice farmers. The message from the developer who created the GOPAN from a desire to contribute toward solving such problems, told of his hope in creating the GOPAN, that people would eat more of the rice that Japan is so proud of. Through this class Panasonic hopes to encourage children's interest in rice, promote increased consumption of it, and support the creation of Japan's agricultural future.