Press Releases 2019

Volunteers for ‘SoftBank and Onna Village Future and Coral Project’ Help Restore Reefs in Okinawa

Assisted by donations, participants from across Japan planted coral and cleaned up beach

October 7, 2019
SoftBank Corp.
WILLCOM OKINAWA, Inc.
Onna Village Tourism Association
Sunshine Aquarium

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”), WILLCOM OKINAWA, Inc. (“WILLCOM OKINAWA”), the Onna Village Tourism Association and Sunshine Aquarium—participating members in the ‘SoftBank and Onna Village Future and Coral Project’ (“the Project”) that was formed to counter climate change, maintain biodiversity and protect marine resources—held its first coral transplant ceremony on October 5, 2019 at Maeda Fishing Port in Onna Village of Okinawa Prefecture. First launched on July 31, 2019, the Project supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (“SDG”) No. 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

After the opening ceremony, 40 volunteers from across Japan transplanted 40 bundles of coral off the shores of Onna Village. Approximately 140 volunteers from Okinawa and other parts of Japan also cleaned up microplastics and other refuse at a nearby beach to help conserve marine biodiversity.

To build awareness and raise funds for the Project, SoftBank opened a special website (in Japanese) and Yahoo Japan Corporation (“Yahoo Japan”) called for donations through its Gyoppi! site (in Japanese), which looks at ways of solving marine issues. At the time of the event, approximately 600,000 yen was received from more than 2,000 people who donated to SoftBank’s Tsunagaru Bokin (which means “connected through fundraising”) service and Yahoo Japan’s Yahoo! Internet Fund Raising.

(From left) Yoshimi Nagahama (Onna Village Mayor), Katsushi Maruyama (Sunshine Aquarium Director), Hidetaka Sakamoto (WILLCOM OKINAWA Representative), Project Ambassador Karen Michibata, Fumihiro Aono (SoftBank Executive Vice President &
 CHRO), Rumiko Miyazaki (Onna Village Tourism Association Chairperson), Nao Sakamoto (Volunteer) and Masami Yamashiro (Onna-son Chura Umi o Hagukumu Kai Chairperson)
 
(From left) Yoshimi Nagahama (Onna Village Mayor), Katsushi Maruyama (Sunshine Aquarium Director), Hidetaka Sakamoto (WILLCOM OKINAWA Representative), Project Ambassador Karen Michibata, Fumihiro Aono (SoftBank Executive Vice President & CHRO), Rumiko Miyazaki (Onna Village Tourism Association Chairperson), Nao Sakamoto (Volunteer) and Masami Yamashiro (Onna-son Chura Umi o Hagukumu Kai Chairperson)  
Coral bundle and transplanting done on October 5 event
Coral bundle and transplanting done on October 5 event
Coral bundle and transplanting done on October 5 event
Approximately 140 volunteers helped with the beach clean up
Approximately 140 volunteers helped with the beach clean up
Approximately 140 volunteers helped with the beach clean up

The Project will continue with regularly scheduled coral transplants and beach cleanups. Furthermore, information on the reef restoration status will be posted on SoftBank’s special website and activities to raise awareness will continue. Through these efforts, the Project aims to realize a more sustainable future.

Participant comments

  • Two elementary students and mother who participated in beach cleanup (from Naha City):

    “We play in the ocean a lot on the weekends, so we participated as a family. It bothers us to see garbage when we go snorkeling. Recently there’ve been a lot of typhoons, and we can tell that the climate is changing. So, we want to do what we can for the earth’s environment.”

  • Male company employee who participated in beach cleanup with colleagues and family (from Urasoe City):

    “As part of my company’s social contribution program, about 40 of us participated, including my four year old grandchild, employees and family members. It’s important for children to be aware of these activities. By participating, I want them to know the earth’s scale. We can’t safeguard the eggs of sea turtles and protect coral just on our own, so I’d like to see these activities expand to the rest of Okinawa with the support of various companies.”

  • Male who planted coral (from Chiba City):

    “I heard that coral is disappearing from Okinawa, so I was wondering if there was something I could do. It was difficult to keep my balance underwater when using an underwater drill to attach coral. Participating in this event, I learned a lot about coral and conservation. I think climate change is having a big effect on the earth, so it’s important we cut down on using electricity. In the future I want to do what I can.”

  • Female diving instructor who planted coral (from Nagoya City):

    “Diving instructors like myself often use the shores of Onna Village, so I wanted to return the favor. I was interested in volunteering for coral planting, and I learned a lot of new things by participating. I want to continue helping with this activity.”

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  • Other company, product and service names in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies.