The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Kyoto Prefectural University Graduate School of Life And Environmental Sciences Division of Applied Life Sciences

Proving fast-growing trees (willow) can be used to produce woody biomass and establishing a supply structure for cuttings

Activity grant

Project Description

Huge tracts of arable land are being abandoned in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake due to radioactive contamination, seawater damage from the tsunami, a deterioration in farm management conditions, and the aging of the farming population. This land can be put to use for the cultivation of willow trees, which have short cutting cycles making them ideal for producing woody biomass as an energy source. This project aims to create a model forest to provide an example of willow cultivation and biomass production that can be used to promote the practice, and provide the foundation for the large-scale supply of willow cuttings.

Energy problem
Grant year
FY2011 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years and 1 month
September 2011 - September 2014
Grant amount
5,700,000 yen
Activity region
Kawasaki, Shibata District, Miyagi Prefecture, and Akita and Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, Japan
Weeding a field two months after the cuttings were planted

Overview of the Organization

Shigeru Sato, Professor
Shigeru Sato, Professor
Establishment purpose
Kyoto Prefectural University is one of two universities managed by the Kyoto Prefectural Public University Corporation, which was formed under the Local Independent Administrative Agency Act. The corporation aims to provide transparently operated unversities for the people of Kyoto, while making Kyoto a base for knowledge by combining the 100-year-old traditions and track records of each university to provide high quality education and research while respecting their distinctive characteristics.
Main areas of activity
Kawasaki, Shibata District, and Ohira, Kurokawa District, Miyagi Prefecture; Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture; and Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
68 full-time staff members
Annual operating budget
3.6 billion yen in 2008, 3.7 billion yen in 2009, 3.8 billion yen in 2010
WEB site
Collaborating organizations and co-researchers
Kimiharu Ishizawa, Professor, Miyagi University of Education; Kazuhiko Kimura, Professor, Miyagi University; Shin Hidaka, Professor, Yasuji Kurimoto, Professor, and Hidefumi Yamauchi, Associate Professor, Akita Prefectural University; Shigeo Kikuchi, Director, The Association for Utilizing Kawasaki's Resources (NPO)
Recent activities
The Kyoto Prefectural University Graduate School of Life And Environmental Sciences' Division of Applied Life Sciences offers two majors - applied life sciences which covers a range of fields that are based in life science, such as food hygiene, agriculture, and molecular chemistry, and environmental science which comprehensively covers all environments from those lived in by humans to the natural wilderness. It conducts research and educational activities aiming to develop skills and technology for improving human welfare and conserving the natural environment, and cultivates workers with a high degree of expertise and independent, industrious researchers.