The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

NPO Asaza Fund

The Asaza Project - using the environment to revitalize regional communities

Activity grant

Project Description

To find solutions to global environmental problems, rather than working on seperate individual initiatives, there is a need for problem solving systems that can be applied to entire regional communities and societies. The Asaza Fund is a citizen-led public enterprise rooted in the local community, and over the 14 years since 1995 it has advanced the creation of various models through the Asaza Project. Now the project wants to further advance the models it has created up til now by developing initiatives that will involve even more diverse segments of society. Specifically, this will involve: (1) developing and improving environmental education in elementary schools around the lake to increase awareness of sustainable town development, and (2) proposing uses for regional resources that will invigorate local industries that possess recycling and conservation functions. The sale of 'lake-friendly vegetables' - vegetables grown using fish meal from invasive species as fertilizer - is already underway, and the project will look to increase the number and types of products created through this kind of initiative. It will also recommend policy and build consensus for reviving 'Tennen Eel', a local brand with a powerful appeal.

Climate changeMarine resources/foodPreservation of surface soil and forestsEnergy problemPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
October 2009 - September 2012
Grant amount
18,500,000 yen
Activity region
The Kitaura section of Lake Kasumigaura, Japan
Local elementary school children regenerating the Kitaura shore by planting aquatic plants

Overview of the Organization

Hiroshi Iijima, Director General
Hiroshi Iijima, Director General
Establishment purpose
Established to carry out conservation and restoration activities to revive the nature and culture of the Kasumigaura and Kitaura Basin, and build connections between people and nature, and people with each other, in order to create an abundant environment and harmonious culture for people of the entire region.
Main area of activity
Kasumigaura and Kitaura Basin
11 full-time staff members, 1 part-time staff member, 10 full members
Annual operating budget
35.91 million yen in 2006, 57.34 million yen in 2007, 46.91 million yen in 2008
WEB site
Recent activities
  • (1) Providing environmental education programs that aim to restore the Kasumigaura and Kitaura Basin to local elementary schools (courses, research, proposals, implementation).
  • (2) Creating business models that contribute to the creation of a recycling-based society (fish meal made from invasive species, sake brands that conserve water sources).
  • (3) Raising environmental awareness at companies through water source conservation agricultural experiences.