On April 28, the award ceremony for the 30th World Environment Prize Grand Prix, sponsored by Fujisankei Communications Group, was held at Meiji Kinenkan in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. Certificates and trophies were presented to the recipients in the presence of His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino and His Imperial Highness Princess Kiko, 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. Chairman and CEO Yoshihiro Nakai said, “We will continue to share our accumulated biodiversity conservation expertise with society and expand our conservation activities.
Fujisankei Group Chairman Hisashi Hieda addressed the audience, saying, “Strong Japanese leadership is needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieve carbon neutrality. He also confirmed his commitment to “advancing the creation of a prosperous and vibrant country by harmonizing the environment and the economy through this award program”.
Canon President and CEO Fujio Mitarai, who chairs the award program committee, said, “We will strive to further enhance the social reputation of this award and continue to contribute to the sustainable development of society and the economy.
The Crown Prince and Princess congratulate the recipients
Although no reception was held on April 28 as a precaution against COVID-19, the recipients had the opportunity to meet Their Imperial Highnesses Crown Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko before the ceremony.
CEO Nakai of Sekisui House, the Grand Prize winner, recalled, “Crown Prince Akishino told me, ‘If the tree planting network expands, it will have the same effect as building parks. ‘”
METI Minister’s Award to Kyushu Electric Power
Michiaki Uriu, Chairman of Kyushu Electric Power, recipient of the Ministerial Award from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), pointed out that the company has been praised for its biodiversity conservation efforts, which were undertaken in collaboration with local residents. He expressed his aspirations for the future:
“By continuing these efforts, we hope to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
Each year, the company partners with 800 to 900 local residents to carry out a controlled burn in the Kuju Bogatsuru Wetlands in Oita Prefecture for environmental conservation.
MEXT Minister’s Award to Nakui Agricultural High School
The award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) was awarded to Nakui Agricultural High School in Aomori Prefecture. The school’s principal, Tomoo Koizumi, expressed his joy, saying, “We are happy that the fruits of our research, including the efforts of our graduates, have been recognized.”
The school has been praised in Japan and abroad for its efforts in favor of agriculture in developing countries and received several awards. According to Principal Koizumi, the Crown Prince and Princess told him, “I often hear the name of your school. You 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 has been the motto of our research. I would like to continue helping those in need through the power of agriculture, using the perspectives of high school students.
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(Read the stories this report is based on in Japanese, here and here.)
Author: The Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Striker