Tohoku Relationship Capital

Report on the initiatives that were held during the three-year period

Tohoku Kyoueki Toushi Kikin [Tohoku Common Good Investment Fund] looks beyond recovery from the disaster in the Tohoku region. It is developing a new financial model and promoting the concept of investment for common good, while helping business operators in the region. The fund does more than simply provide capital to businesses that hire local people and boost the regional economy. It also provides managerial support and helps business operators increase their sales channels to enable continuous growth. The fund is recirculating the investment that is paid back after five years by financially supporting NPOs and other organizations that are assisting recovery in the Tohoku region.

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Summary of the initiatives that were held during the three-year period

Tohoku Kyoueki Toushi Kikin has invested 154 million yen in 13 businesses since its establishment in November 2011. All of them are businesses that will revitalize new communities or bring added value to the region, such as continuous employment at local businesses and in traditional industries. More specifically, the investments will help core companies to rebuild. New businesses will also be launched, while companies that employ young people will have an opportunity to expand. Business operators who were forced to evacuate due to the nuclear accident will also be able to reopen in new locations. The fund is providing aid through the infusion of capital and through the provision of personnel who offer operational support. The 13 businesses that received funding are still in business. A few have seen sales in certain lines of business recover to levels that exceed sales before the disaster. The fund is continuing to provide operational support so that the companies will continue to prosper.

Changes and memorable moments in three years of assistance

Ogatsu Suzuri Association

This organization finished building a studio and two warehouses that are used to process raw materials. The new facilities were built on the former site of the Ogatsu Municipal Center, which was damaged by the tsunami. The studio is occupied by the association and two other companies and gives visitors the chance to try their hand at the craft of suzuri, or inkstone. Backed by a fund advisor, the association opened a showroom for a new line of products. Visitors can purchase the displayed items, and the new showroom is boosting sales.

Sato Zousenjo [Sato Boatworks] and Oikawa Denki [Oikawa Electric Works]

Sato Zousenjo and Oikawa Denki, which received a new subsidy from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, are building a factory together. A fund advisor is providing support until completion. The grant is the first of its kind in Japan. Both companies are based in Ishinomaki and are involved in shipbuilding. The companies joined forces because they were familiar with one another through an industry association. They envision the new partnership generating sales that are far above those before the disaster.

Kamaishi Hikari Foods

This company is developing new sales channels. Its products were included on the main menu of a major restaurant chain after a fund advisor brokered a meeting. The company's sales are steadily increasing. The company's efforts to expand its lines of business are also progressing smoothly. The company has started a technology development project with Kochi University of Technology and a project to brand Kamaishi mackerel with Toni Gyokyou [Toni Fishing Cooperative] among other projects. The company sustains employment in the area, as all 25 employees are full-time employees.