Employee Volunteer Activities
Employee Volunteer Programs
Yatsuda Regeneration Project
Yatsuda refers to a rice paddy in the valley of a low, hilly area (yatsu). Also known as yato or yachi, yatsuda is one of the landscapes of satoyama, (Japanese village forest), often seen in the Kanto and Tohoku regions. However, yatsuda paddies are now disappearing. The reasons include the difficulty in using machines for planting seedlings because of the irregular shape of rice paddies created in narrow valleys, the shortage of farm workers due to Japan’s aging society, and the impact of housing development. Yatsuda paddies are artificial ponds. With surrounding forest areas, they foster the vitality of many plants and animals and create rich biodiversity, and the protection of such environment has been called for.
Asaza Fund (NPO) was a grant recipient of the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund, and is promoting natural regeneration activities in the Lake Kasumigaura watershed. In cooperation with them, Mitsui & Co. is engaged in a project for regenerating deteriorated yatsuda paddies in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture, by growing agrochemical-free rice, and through other activities. This project invites the participation of employees and officers, as well as their families, including those of our group companies. Participants visit the yatsuda paddies six times to plant rice, weed, and even brew sake using the harvested rice. Since the project began in 2009, a total of more than 3,200 employees and their families have participated.