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January 11, 2013
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • Iwate Prefecture

Rakuten and Iwate Prefecture Team Up for
“Rakuten Furusato Project”;
Donate kobo Touch eReaders to 1,644 people newly coming of age in seven municipalities around the Prefecture

-Devices given as mementos of Iwate to the young people who will be responsible
for the recovery of the disaster-affected region in the future-

TOKYO, January 11, 2013 –Rakuten and Iwate Prefecture today announced that they will begin the “Rakuten Furusato Project” that will donate kobo Touch eReaders to 1,644 people newly coming of age in seven municipalities around the Prefecture with the aim of enhancing regional vitalization and educational activities. The project will start on January 12.

The recipients of the kobo Touch donations will be 450 people in Ofunato City, 264 people in Kamaishi City, 380 people in Shiwa Town, 270 people in Rikuzentakata City, 150 people in Otsuchi Town, 90 people in Hiraizumi Town, and 40 people in Tanohata Village. In Ofunato City, devices will be presented during a coming of age ceremony. In Hiraizumi Town and Tanohata Village, recipients shall be those who participated in a coming of age ceremony held last August. The project aims to use reading to pass on the initiatives carried out within Iwate Prefecture to the young people within the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, who will be responsible for reconstruction and regional promotion in the future. It also aims to encourage the further growth of the next generation.

Based on these objectives, along with the donations, Rakuten will create special pages viewable using the kobo Touch on the Rakuten CSR site and kobo eBook Store. These sites will introduce books recommended by each municipality, as well as works by authors from Iwate Prefecture or those with a connection to local areas, such as Miyazawa Kenji no Kotoba by Ariake Honda, Ichiaku no Suna / Kanashiki Gangu by Takuboku Ishikawa, and Nine Days: Iwate-ken Zaigai Taisaku Honbu no Tatakai by Ren Kawahara, in addition to self-help books and books related to the earthquake. This will be the first time that special pages targeting a specific region have been set up in the kobo eBook Store.

Consideration for the Rakuten Furusato Project began in the company when the kobo Touch was released in July 2012. Rakuten and Iwate Prefecture had already signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement for regional activities under the Machi-Raku project, and now the both parties have realized the donation of kobo Touch eReaders to people newly coming of age who requested them in seven municipalities within the Prefecture.

Rakuten and Iwate Prefecture have been collaborating in a number of ways, such as Rakuten IT School eCommerce classes in the field of education, and for reconstruction support. By encouraging young people in the region and cities to read works connected to Iwate Prefecture through the donation of eReaders and creation of special pages, it is expected that the culture of the prefecture will be passed on further and that the young people will be able to deepen their understanding of their own local areas.

Outline of the Rakuten Furusato Project

・  Start Date: January 12 (Sat.)
・  URL: http://corp.rakuten.co.jp/csr/furusato
   Note: It will also be possible to access via a special section of the kobo eBook Store.

・  Details of Donations:
     January 12 (Sat.): Ofunato City – 450 people

   Details of Donation Ceremony:
    - Organizer: Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture
    - Donator: Mie Kurosaka, CSR Supervisor, Rakuten, Inc.
    - Date: January 12 (Sat.) 11:00-12:00
    -Venue: Rias Hall, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture
      18-1 Azashimotateshita, Sakari-cho, Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture 022-0003

January 13 (Sun.) Kamaishi City: 264 people / Shiwa Town: 380 people / Rikuzentakata City: 270 people /
Otsuchi Town: 150 people.
August 15, 2012 (already completed) Hiraizumi Town: 90 people / Tanohata Village: 40 people.

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