Local Banks Trying To Save Forests In Japan


If you follow the money, to get to the source of either all evil or some good progress, you may want to know what banks in Japan are doing for good causes. Some of the nation's local banks have started a campaign to save Japan's forests. They have a website with updates about their activities, and it is indeed nation-wide.

11 banks from Hokkaido and northern Honshu, 13 banks in central Honshu, 11 in Hokuriku and Toukai, 7 in Kinki (Kyoto, Osaka), 9 in Shikoku, 12 in Kyushu and Okinawa. It all adds up. Some 63 local banks that try to make a difference? I am interested. No huge mega-banks here, Gordon Gekko is not invited.

I'm sure they can do a lot of good, if they try. But, of course, the reason I even found this, and their forest-hugging website, is because I wanted to know more about the Juroku Ginko in Nagoya, the one that has helped (?) destroy the Hirabari Satoyama, a small forest reserve in a city that has almost no natural space left at all. Yup, that particular bank is part of the campaign to save Japan's forests. Oh, the irony. Can someone please explain why people should not get very, very angry about that.

Mori Chigin page (Japanese list of banks participating in the Save The Forest In Japan)

日本の森を守りたい (Nihon no mori wo mamoritai) We want to save the forests of Japan

The Juroku bank goes way back to 1877, so they do have some claim to being one of the major backers of industrialization (and destruction of the natural environment) in Nagoya. Note that they do not have any CSR policy (Corporate Social Responibility is very well known in Japan, so they can't pretend that they do not know about it).

They also have offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Hakumie Horie, the president, says he wants to "become our customers' best partner bank, and helping them realize their dreams." OK, what kind of dream is that? That classic quote is from their 2009 annual report (pdf).

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