Business and Economics

Suntory to Launch “Mirai Challenge Program” to Support Revitalize the Local Communities Affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake

Tokyo, JAPAN (February 9, 2021) — Suntory Holdings Ltd., a global leader in both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages industries, today announced that it will be launching the “Mirai Challenge Program”* to support revitalize the local communities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake as part of the “Suntory Tohoku Sun-Sun Project”. This new program will award a total of approximately 100 million JPY over three years from July 2021 to June 2024 (approx. 30 million JPY per year) to groups or individuals seeking to start new projects to revitalize the local community in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.

*Applications for the first year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) will open from February 10 to May 10, 2021. More about the new program and application processes can be found here (in Japanese only). This program will be co-hosted by the Japan Philanthropic Association, Iwate Nippo Co. Ltd., Kahoku Shimpo Publishing Co. Ltd, and Fukushima-Minpo Co. Ltd.

Immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake hit Japan in March 2011, the Suntory Group provided emergency relief supplies and donated 300 million JPY to the disaster affected prefectures. In hopes to bring early recovery to the affected regions, the company launched the “Suntory Tohoku Sun-Sun Project” in 2011 and has been actively continuing its support with a total amount of approximately 10.8 billion JPY, focusing on four pillars: “Recovery Support of the Fishing Industry,” “Youth Support Initiatives,” “Support through Culture, the Arts, and Sports,” and “Support of Challenged Sports (Parasports)”.

<Details of support under each pillar to date>
“Recovery Support of the Fishing Industry”
To ease the burden on fishermen in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, Suntory disbursed a total of 5.5 billion JPY to shoulder a portion of the costs to acquire new fishing vessels of all sizes and types, from deep-sea tuna vessels to squid fishing vessels as well as to support coastal fishing.

“Youth Support Initiatives”
Suntory provided scholarships to a total of 2,453 students affected by the disaster at seven fisheries high schools in Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, and also supported the construction of Ishinomaki City Children’s Center “Raitsu” (Miyagi Prefecture) and Yamada Fureai Center “Hapine” (Iwate Prefecture) facilities that were planned and designed by children. Furthermore, in order to support the children of Fukushima Prefecture in a multi-faceted way, the company has been creating an environment where children can learn and play safely through provision of financial assistance to Non-Profit Organizations supporting children, construction of childcare facilities, and hosting workshops. In cooperation with the TOMODACHI Initiative led by the US Embassy in Japan and the U.S.-Japan Council, Suntory also established “TOMODACHI Suntory Fukushima Mirai Music Program” to support students in disaster affected areas to attend music schools in the United States, and a total of 10 students, among 3 of which are from the Tohoku-region, have been selected.

“Support through Culture, the Arts, and Sports”
Suntory established the “Vienna Philharmonic & Suntory Music Aid Fund” and has been providing financial assistance to music-related initiatives and holding concerts at the disaster affected areas. It has also been holding “Music for Everyone Concert” with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Suntory has held exhibitions of Japanese art collections from Suntory Museum of Art in Sendai City and Koriyama City as well as conducted school visits by Japanese traditional handicraft artists such as designated Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (also known as Living National Treasures).
Suntory’s volleyball and rugby clubs has also been holding sports classes for children in the disaster affected areas.

“Support of Challenged Sports (Parasports)”
To date, Suntory has provided a total of 260 million JPY worth of grants to a total of 294 individuals and 129 organizations through the “Challenged Athlete Scholarship” to support train and strengthen athletes to become a world-class player and promote parasports. It has also been holding classes where children from Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures can experience playing various sports together with challenged athletes such as wheelchair basketball players. Based on the requests from the three prefectures, it has also been conducting various activities to strengthen the infrastructure and improving the environment of parasports such as through renovating public facilities and donating sports wheelchairs, as well as hosting introductory workshops for wheelchair sports.

This year being the 10th year since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan, Suntory hopes to further support those aiming to reconstruct and revitalize the three affected prefectures through the new program.

More about the Suntory Tohoku Sun-Sun Project can be found here.

About Suntory Group

As a global leader in both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products from premium spirits, beer and wine to brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies YamazakiHibiki and Hakushu as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds in Japan and the Asian market with our Premium Malt’s beer and also owns the exceptional Japanese wine Tomi and the world famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection also includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites OranginaLucozadeRibenaBOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong TeaV and BRAND’S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.

Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $21.0 billion in 2019. Suntory is driven by Yatte Minahare – the spirit of bold ambition – and our 40,210 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.

As a company that delivers blessings of water and nature to our customers, Suntory is committed to its mission to create harmony with people and nature. Always aspiring to grow for good, Suntory is devoted to giving back to society through protecting water resources, nurturing its communities and fostering the arts.

Learn more about Suntory Group, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility at www.suntory.com, on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.

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