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- Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Mitsui & Co,, Ltd. will supply financial aid to a program to guarantee that children who return from Japan will have a smoother transition to Brazilian schools and lifestyle. The Kaeru Project is a joint effort between the non-profit organization Institute for Educational and Cultural Solidarity - ISEC (Instituto de Solidariedade Educacional e Cultural) and the Department of Education for the State of São Paulo.
The Kaeru Project is comprised of support teams made up of 1 coordinator, 2 permanent specialists (psychologist and psychopedagogy specialists, etc.), 3 teachers (Portuguese and Japanese language teachers and other school subjects) and other specialists as needed (doctors, speech therapists, counselors, etc.) These teams will be sent to the areas and schools in the State where there is a significant concentration of children with difficulties in adapting to their new lives. In cooperation with their families and schools, the Project will carry out individual or group activities depending on the type and severity of the problems faced by the children.
The content of the programs is broken down mainly into: (1) psychological care (games, reading, writing, counseling, etc.), (2) pedagogy-related services (complementary education, study groups, etc.) (3) environmental activities (parental guidance, orientation for the students, faculty at the school, etc.) Furthermore, the know-how gathered through the Kaeru Project will be summarized in a manual. There are plans to expand the Project next year by sending the staff to other states to spread such know-how at workshops, etc.
The total budget for the first year of the Project is R$197,000.00 (nearly US$116,000.00), with the State of São Paulo contributing R$57,000.00 (nearly US$34,000.00) through the concession of classrooms, allocation of teachers, teaching materials, school supplies and textbooks, with the remaining R$140,000.00 (nearly US$82,000.00) donated by Mitsui Bussan., acting through the Mitsui & Co. do Brazil Foundation, (*) will donate funds for the ISEC activities.
(*) In February of this year, the Mitsui & Co. do Brazil Foundation was founded by Mitsui Brasileira Imp. e Export. S.A. and other Mitsui Bussan's group companies in Brazil The Foundation will support, among others, activities aimed at solving pertinent social problems and education/training of Brazilian professionals in order for them to contribute to the strengthening of the friendship between Brazil and Japan, the increase of exchanges, and to the furthermore development of partnerships between the two countries. The Kaeru Project is the first project to benefit from these subsidies.
(1) At the end of 2006, the number of Brazilians living in Japan surpassed 310,000 people (according to statistics onf foreigners residing in Japan from 2007). Of these, the number of children and youngsters of school age (between 5 and 14 years old) is nearly 30,000. The problem is that the children who attend Brazilian schools in Japan are not able to receive proper education due to the lack of equipment and school supplies, and those children who attend Japanese public schools have difficulties in keeping up with the classes due to language problems. Estimates indicate that the number of families who return to Brazil with their families is on the rise every year, as well as those who arrive in the land of their ancestors for the first time, creating yet another difficult situation. However, in Brazil there are no institutions or support services for these children, which creates a serious social problem since it leads to the lack of education and the increase of vulnerability.
(2) Mitsui & Co., Ltd. believes that the educational difficulties of Brazilians in Japan are a relevant social issue, and in fiscal year 2005 it began a program for educational support of Brazilian children residing in Japan. Besides donating educational material to Brazilian schools in Japan, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. has developed activities, namely through support for non-profit organizations which reduce the social vulnerability of the younger population, by creating complementary educational material for Brazilian children residing in Japan. Through the expansion of its activities, Mitsui Brasileira Imp .e Export. S.A. and other group companies in Brazil will provide support to a project aimed at Brazilian children who return from Japan. In order to help with their transition and provide an easier integration into Brazilian society, programs for educational support that are similar or complimentary to the ones available in Japan have been developed.
(1) Aid to Brazilian schools in Japan (donation of educational material)
2005 and 2006: 4 schools each year, JPY 5.0 million/school
2007: 10 schools JPY 5.0 million/school
(2) Support for the activities of non-profit organizations which help Brazilian residents in Japan.
In collaboration with both the Brazilian Embassy and Consulate in Japan, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. provides aid to non-profit organizations which perform support activities for Brazilians residing in Japan, especially those which involve reducing the vulnerability of the younger population and children with no schooling.
(3) Creation of complementary educational material developed for Brazilian children residing in Japan (a joint effort with the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies).
With the intention of preventing Brazilian children who attend Japanese public schools from going down the path of not being able to keep up in class → not going to school → vulnerability to bad influences, caused by language difficulties, complementary educational material to learn Japanese has been developed. Since April 2007, part of this material has been listed on the home page of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.