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Rakuten's compassion

My sincere condolences go out to everyone who has suffered as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. I pray that those who lost their lives in this disaster rest in peace.

On March 25, I visited an evacuation shelter in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. This city has suffered greatly from the disaster, so I wanted to ask the people there what I can possibly do to help. On my way to Ishinomaki City, I stopped briefly at Hiyoriyama Park. The view of the city from that vantage point revealed an area completely devastated by the tsunami. There are no words to describe it.

My conversations with those at Ishinomaki City Hall and evacuees at the junior high school now serving as an evacuation shelter helped me realize many things. First, reconstruction will be a very long road. Second, it became clearer to me that even those of us in the business community must make every effort to assist with this. While the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake remains fresh in my mind, the City of Kobe has been thoroughly reconstructed and the ruins left after the disaster in 1995 are now hard to imagine. Although the extent of damage in the two areas differs, the success of Kobe’s reconstruction makes me confident that the Tohoku Region will recover from this disaster.

I have been deeply considering what Rakuten can do for Tohoku, and have come to the realization that reconstruction does not simply mean restoring damaged areas to their original state. Rather, reconstruction is about building new communities. It is up to us and our children, who will inherit the future of this country, to ensure a successful reconstruction. It is vital that we give greater thought to the global environment we live in and make use of our ideas in this field for the reconstruction of Japan.

Four Points for Everyone in Rakuten to Consider
  • Working Toward a More Sustainable Future
  • Energy that is Friendly to Both People and the Environment
  • Conservation in Consideration of the Environment
  • Creating Value to Society through our Main Businesses

Since the founding of Rakuten, we have upheld the principle of “Empowerment” (empowering people and society). Maintaining a firm belief in this principle, we will further bolster our considerations for the environment. And through use of the technology we possess and the cooperation of our employees,
we will do everything in our power to help realize the revitalization of the Tohoku Region.

April 28, 2011
Hiroshi Mikitani
Chairman & CEO Rakuten, Inc.

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