TOKYO (May 7, 2013) — Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will implement tree planting on May 18 in support of a plan to create "Forests That Protect Lives."
The plan was set by Otsuchi-cho, Kamihei-gun, Iwate Prefecture as part of the town's recovery program.
Yokohama said this is part of its activities to support restoration of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. On April 30, 2012, the company carried out a first-phase model-forest tree planting in Otsuchi-cho under its Yokohama Forever Forest Project. Starting with the second-phase event this year, the model forest is to be called "Heisei Forest."
Since the first-phase tree planting, Yokohama said it has engaged in continuous support activities toward second-phase planting and beyond, including gathering the seeds of broad-leafed trees indigenous to the local area, growing seedlings together with the residents of the town, gathering rice straw, etc.
With the second phase of planting, a new 50-meter mound will be created adjacent to the 50-meter mound where seedlings were planted last year—on the premises of the Otsuchi Purification Center. Approximately 5,000 seedlings of broad-leafed evergreen trees indigenous to the area will be planted, Yokohama said.
On May 18, Otsuchi-cho Mayor Yutaka Ikarigawa, local residents, representatives of supporting companies and others including former Formula One driver Ukyo Katayama will participate in the event, according to Yokohama, along with the tire maker's Chairman and CEO Tadanobu Nagumo and President Hikomitsu Noji. Employee volunteers will advise participants on how to plant the trees and join them in the process.
Yokohama said a characteristic feature of Otsuchi-cho's "Forests That Protect Lives" is efficient use of disaster debris in the tree planting, which not only helps reduce the cost of the debris' disposal and CO2 emissions from incineration, but will actually facilitate the growth of the seedlings.