During my childhood, I lived near the sea in a place with beautiful sandy beaches. I spent my days playing in the pine groves, swimming in the sea, and fishing – pleasant memories still with me today. At the same time, my home was in one of Japan’s preeminent blanket-manufacturing towns. I was befuddled as a child by the small rivers and canals whose colors changed daily from red to blue. When I got to junior high school, the coastal industrial zone project for our area went into full effect, and before I realized it the beaches were gone, warnings were being issued for photochemical smog during after-school activities, and masks were required when practicing outside. Eventually, we were moved indoors for exercise, inconveniencing both myself and all around me.
The result of this period of high economic growth is that now all Japanese are entitled to equal education and, if one works hard and diligently, can live a normal and comfortable life. Major transportation networks have been put in place, and measures to combat against pollution have resulted in clean towns no matter where you go. As titles like ‘Cool Japan’ demonstrate, Japan has even become an object of admiration around the globe. However, one negative legacy of this growth is that attitudes such as ‘the end justifies the means” and the practice of assigning ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ became accepted. Yet with the collapse of Japan’s economic bubble and the financial crisis of 2008, I feel this may finally be going away.
I believe that to create meaningful measures for sustainability it is first necessary to understand Japan’s history. Next, it is important to keep pace with society’s dominant trends. Luckily, today we have abundant opportunities to encounter various businesses, cultures and ideas as well as to converse and engage with people and corporations not only from around Japan but in countries across the world. By capitalizing on these advantages, we hope to draw up a future vision and ideal role for Daito Kasei Kogyo in the world and continuously develop this as we move forward. First, we have compiled a list of 4 issues we must address by 2020.