Social Contribution

Social: Social Contribution

Basic Concepts

KOKUYO strives to be a trusted corporate citizen on both regional and national levels via proactive interaction and planning with regional communities, while respecting regional culture and customs and encouraging their advancement.

Initiatives in 2021

KOKUYO Design Award 2021: Post-Normal

The KOKUYO Design Award is designed to gather ideas for products that will innovate the way people work, learn, or play. Since it began in 2002, the award program has sought product ideas that add value to KOKUYO and the wider society. The theme for the 2020 award (the 18th year) was “post-normal”—a time of transition when old certainties no longer apply. The theme focuses on how the pandemic has prompted such a transitional state across the world, and it was intended to inspire people to reevaluate their possessions and consider the quality of a product and whether the product offers universal value for the future.

The six speakers from KOKUYO

Campus Art Awards 2021: A Painting Competition for Junior High and High School Student

We hold the Campus Art Awards in partnership with The Yomiuri Chukosei Shimbun. Campus Art Awards is a drawing competition for students at junior high school and high school. The award program began in 2015, and 2,476 works were showcased this year.

The theme for 2021 was titled “my sweet hometown.”  This theme focused on the landscapes, customs, traditions, events, cuisine, confectionary, and other motifs associated with the students’ hometowns. The purpose was to give students an opportunity to take an interest in their hometown, discover its charms, and express them. For the top individual prize, the winner received 50 Campus notebooks featuring the person’s winning picture. The school of the winner received 1,000 of the notebooks featuring the winning picture. 

*Website content Japanese language only

Fully Experience the Mountains of Fukuyama - the top individual prize-winning piece by Chihiro Iida of Hiroshima University High School, Fukuyama

Michinoku Future Fund: A scholarship for students left orphaned by the 2011 disaster

Since the year after the Tohoku disaster of March 11, 2011, we have donated to Michinoku Future Fund*, a scholarship program for students who lost their parents in the disaster. In 2021, the foundation awarded its 10th annual set of scholarship. Scholarships were awarded this year to 73 students, securing them a place in a higher or further education institution, where they can start their journey towards a bright career. In previous years, sponsors, students, graduates, and foundation staff would gather at a ceremony held for the benefit of the recipients of the scholarships as well as for scholarship students who were about to graduate. However, there was again no meeting at which those involved gathered together following on from the previous year in light of the COVID-19 situation. Unfortunately, that meant we were unable to hear from the recipients directly. Nevertheless, ceremony or no ceremony, we remain as committed as ever to supporting the good work of the foundation.

*Founded by Rohto Pharmaceutical, Calbee, and Kagome, Michinoku Future Fund provides higher or further education scholarships to students who lost their parents in the March 2011 disaster, on the belief that future generations are the foundation for the recovery. There have been 974 scholarship recipients since the foundation of the fund. Over 600 students have already finished their schooling and are working in their respective fields.

The previous year’s (2019) sendoff event

Wholeheartedly Supporting Children with Disabilities: KOKUYO Painting Contest in China

We held the KOKUYO Painting Contest from February 2021. With tremendous support from the government and educational institutions in Shanghai, we received 158 paintings from a total of 126 children. Judging and preparations continued for over three months. Finally, the four paintings selected as the first-prize winners were turned into the covers of KOKUYO’s design notebooks. We produced 50,000 notebooks in all. In addition to selling these special design notebooks, we also donated them to rural areas in China to lift the spirits of children deep in the mountains.

We provided all the proceeds of 139,200 RMB (approximately 2.3 million yen) from the design notebooks as financial assistance for a project to support people with disabilities in the Fengxian District of Shanghai. A member of the leadership representing the government that accepted the financial assistance made the following comment: “We will use the money we have received from you in a project to support the employment of people with disabilities. I hope that even more companies will work proactively to support people with disabilities like KOKUYO in the future.”

There were cries of jubilation from the prize-winning children: “I am really happy that I won the first prize. I want to paint even more and better paintings in the future!” “I am really excited to hear that my painting will be turned into the cover of the notebook and that it will be introduced in various places throughout the country.” “I love KOKUYO’s stationery!”

KOKUYO China proactively bears its corporate social responsibility based on the founding spirit of “enrich the world through our products & services.” We hope that even more individuals and companies will work to promote diversity and inclusion through this painting competition. KOKUYO China will continue to wholeheartedly focus on sustainable activities to further accelerate initiatives to solve social issues through its business as a member of our group!

Diversion of KOKUYO Camlin’s Production Assets to Oxygen Supply Equipment and Its Provision to Hospitals

The delta variant of COVID-19 wreaked havoc in India. With more than 400,000 newly infected people being confirmed a day at the peak in May 2021, the medical system virtually collapsed.

KOKUYO Camlin uses equipment that generates nitrogen in the manufacturing process of mechanical pencil leads. The company focused its attention at that time to the fact that what this equipment releases is about 20% oxygen. The company proposed to divert these production assets to oxygen generation equipment by, conversely, capturing the released oxygen.

After that, with the support of external technical consultants and government officials, the company completed the installation and handover of the equipment to a hospital near its plant about a month later. This equipment made it possible to supply oxygen to 15 beds.

Mini Science Centers Opened at Schools near KOKUYO Camlin’s Plants

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education (STEM) is important for all countries. It is a prerequisite for building the capacity in science and technology to change society for the better. Improving STEM education is also necessary for increasing learners’ curiosity about the world, their creativity, and their problem-solving abilities. Our Indian subsidiary, KOKUYO Camlin, has opened mini science centers in five schools located nearby the company’s three production sites. These centers give schoolchildren opportunities to encounter science and mathematics and discover fascinating laws and theories. KOKUYO Camlin teamed up with an NGO to equip the centers with effective learning tools.