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MAR 18, 2011

Launch of Project KIBOW-2

By Yoshito Hori

On the evening of March 14th, volunteers gathered to discuss the theme of “The Eastern Japan Great Earthquake – What We Can Do Now.” As the aftershocks continued, rolling blackouts were implemented, and trains stopped running, we turned off the heating and engaged in passionate debate. Those who took part in this session strongly affirmed to one another their willingness to help reconstruct Japan following this unprecedented catastrophic earthquake.

Once the session was over, the volunteers moved to a different place to continue their discussion. From a desire to reconstruct Japan, a project was launched. That project is named “Project KIBOW.” A word coined from the word “kibou,” meaning “hope” in Japanese and the word “Rainbow.” Its mission is to bring hope to many people by acting as a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world.

Japan has never been on the spot light from the world, as it is now. Likewise, the need to disseminate information to the rest of the world has never been greater. We the people, not the government or the mass media, seek to convey our strong will to “make Japan better”, and our desire to gain the cooperation of the world in Japan’s reconstruction.

From now on we plan to approach prominent business people and leaders. We would like to see them each in their own way affirming the strong will to “rebuild Japan,” trusting each other, and generating a groundswell that will instil a vision and courage in many people. We also wish to carry out fundraising activities by making a strong appeal to the world. I would like this to be an occasion for us all to affirm to one another our strong desire to rebuild Japan.

In many regions, the aftershocks have still not subsided. In Fukushima people are engaged in desperate struggles. Commodities still have not reached areas that were swept away by the tsunami. The self-defence forces and doctors are working at full capacity. There are rolling blackouts in Metropolitan Tokyo, and public transport has not yet returned to normal. The number of dead and missing continues to grow. Further, there is a problem in Fukushima. I strongly believe that it is precisely at times such as these that Japan must stand united and show her fundamental strength.

At the moment, the integrity, diligence, and orderly conduct displayed by Japan are attracting the unstinting admiration of the world. Japan’s new leaders are trying to be a bridge of hope with the commitment to regenerate Japan together. We don’t know what we can do, but we have decided that we must at least start. Let’s all do it together.

March 16, 2011

Project KIBOW

Yoshito Hori, President and Dean, GLOBIS University, Managing Partner, GLOBIS Capital Partners
Kiyoshi Nishikawa, CEO of NETAGE, Inc. (Director/Founder of ngi group)
Takao Ozawa, Director of NPO Civic Force
Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc.
Hideaki Inoue, CEO of Park Corporation
Takaaki Umezawa, Partner and Managing Director, Japan, A.T. Kearney, Inc.
Daigo Sato, Representative Director of NPO Charity Platform, Chairman of NPO dot-jp, Managing Director, COO of JustGiving Japan Foundation
Yu Yumoto, Representative Director of JustGiving Japan Foundation 
Maiko Tajima, The United Nations World Food Programme