Working in harmony with nature to aide reconstruction of the region
TOKYO October 12, 2011: The JAL Group is participating in the Tohoku Cotton Project in Japan’s northeastern cities of Sendai Arahama and Natori. The airline is working closely with cotton producers and other commercial companies that have also pledged support to the efforts being made to recondition agricultural land damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and thereby create new jobs and industries in these regions.
Following the disasters on March 11 this year, the JAL Group pooled resources together and operated almost 2,700 extra flights until July 24 to back recovery efforts in its capacity as a public transport operator in Japan. The extra flights helped facilitate the movement of people and goods, and enhanced accessibility to the affected areas.
The JAL Group is also contributing to recovery works by participating in restoration initiatives like the Tohoku Cotton Project. Vast areas of land surrounding Sendai Airport have been rendered incapable of growing rice by the tsunami that washed deep inland in March. Under these circumstances, affected farmers and Japanese fabric-spinner Taishoboseki Industries, as well as apparel companies came together to form the Tohoku Cotton Project that encourages the cultivation of high-yield cotton in these fields. Cotton thrives in highly saline soil conditions and also absorbs sodium. The Project is helping to create employment and new industries, and is now endorsed by JAL and some 15 other companies such as leading apparel brands like Lee, United Arrows and LOWRYS FARM to name a few.
In its role, JAL seeks to raise the awareness of this project through such communications channels as its in-flight magazine skyward, as well as to eventually utilize Tohoku Cotton for fabric in its airport lounges and onboard and for in-flight sales products, designed by Yuma Koshino. Additionally, JAL Group employees have been volunteering in the fields, and through subsidiary JAL PAK, created cotton field tours that offer customers the opportunity to gain an educational and meaningful experience.
Through the airline’s daily operations as a transport operator, the JAL Group wishes to contribute to the early recovery of Tohoku regions by transporting many passengers and activating the tourism industry as well as the agricultural industry in north east Japan by participating in the Tohoku Cotton Project.