The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund

Development of class programs incorporating the Iriomote cat

Activity grant

Project Description

Discovered in 1965, the Iriomote cat is designated a natural monument by the government of Japan. Protecting the Iriomote cat, critically endangered due to land development and traffic accidents, is part of the conservation of Iriomote-jima Island's ecosystem. However, because the Iriomote cat's range is bisected by the island's only highway, an increasing number are being hit by cars. To enable action to prevent traffic accidents in the hope of fostering coexistance classes at the island's elementary and junior high schools will be conducted for students to empathize with the cat. These classes will also be expanded to elementary schools in Tokyo using the same method with different animals.

Ecosystems and the Symbiotic Society
Grant year
FY2014 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2014 - September 2017
Grant amount
3,000,000 yen
Activity region
Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama District, Okinawa Prefecture (all elementary and junior high schools on Iriomote-jima Island), Japan
Studying where prey animals for Iriomote cats live (junior high school on Iriomote-jima Island)

Overview of the Organization

Kumi Togawa, Chairperson
Kumi Togawa, Chairperson
Year established
Conduct wildlife conservation activities centered on support for habitat-based wildlife conservation activities with the aim of contributing to the public good.
Aim to protect an abundant natural environment for people through seeing from the perspective of wild animals and protecting and conserving the biological diversity of that world.
Primary areas of activity
Okinawa Prefecture (Naha City, Ishigaki City, Taketomi-cho (Iriomote-jima Island)), greater Tokyo, greater Osaka, Kenya/Africa, Malaysia, India: Vidarbha region (Maharashtra state), Karbi Anglong district (Assam state)
Number of staff
3 full-time staff members, 2 part-time staff members, 33 members full members
Annual operating budget
21.95 million yen in 2012, 29.56 million yen in 2013, 27.63 million yen (estimate) in 2014
WEB site
Recent activities
Development of class programs incorporating the Iriomote cat
Provide teachable moments based on ecology and society at elementrary and junior high schools to the children of Iriomote-jima Island on seeing life on the island from the perspective of the Iriomote cat. The resulting influence on adults is also important.
  • Conduct classes at regular intervals (integrated learning, morality)
  • Systematic program every three years
  • Implement at all schools on Iriomote-jima Island
  • Establish guidance plan, create supplementary reader
  • After four years, aim to have teachers conduct classes themselves, with JTEF retaining special classes