The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Iwate University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Sciences for Sustainability

Establishing a system for recycling wood debris and building a wood biomass society in order to revive forest-related industry in Iwate Prefecture coastal areas

Activity grant

Project Description

Plywood processing is one of the core industries along the coastline of Iwate Prefecture, but the Great East Japan Earthquake has had a devastating effect on it. Following the earthquake, attention has been focused on whether wood from the debris can be reused as a resource, and this project aims to provide a springboard for industry revival by encouraging the establishment of a recycling system, starting from the first stage of debris handling through to sorting and wooden board production. It also aims to revive struggling forestry businesses through woody biomass initiatives, revitalizing the region and encouraging the formation of an energy-efficient, low-carbon, resource-recycling society.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsEnergy problem
Grant year
FY2011 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years and 6 months
April 2011 - September 2014
Grant amount
8,609,400 yen
Activity region
Coastal areas of Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Wood debris being turned into chips after collection and sorting (Yamada, Iwate Prefecture)

Overview of the Organization

Noboru Sekino, professor
Noboru Sekino, professor
Establishment purpose
Iwate University is a prefectural university established as a venue for education and research in pursuit of truth, and aims to create an academic culture which cultivates individuals who are broadly-educated but also possess a high-degree of specialisation. As a university open to communities in the region, it also aims to apply the results of its academic and research success to contribute to improving regional culture and developing an international society.
Main area of activity
795 full-time staff members
Annual operating budget
12.6 billion yen in 2008, 12.3 billion yen in 2009, 11.9 billion yen in 2010
WEB site
Collaborating organizations
Miyako/Shimohei Monozukuri Network Sanrinbu-kai, Miyako Board, Yamauchi Corp., Hokuyo Plywood, Iwate Agro-Forestry Research Council (AFR), Iwate Woody Biomass Research Council
Naoya Satta, professor, Hisayoshi Kofujita, associate professor, and Sachio Ito, assistant professor, Iwate University Faculty of Agriculture; Shinpei Uchida, associate professor, Iwate Prefectural University Morioka Junior College
Recent activities
From the time it was established, Iwate University has provided practical education with roots in the region that looks to contribute to the local community, and its mission is to find solidly-researched, scientific solutions for practical problems facing the community. Furthermore, it is commited to finding practical solutions to real problems through industry-academic partnership organizations, such as Iwate Network System (INS), centered around the Faculty of Engineering, and Iwate Agro-Forestry Research Council (AFR), centered around the Faculty of Agriculture.