Table Speech


Initiation Speach

February 4th, 2004

Mr. Osamu Watanabe
Chairmanof the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
Mr. Eijiro Shiroki
Vice Presidentof the Shiroki Co. Ltd.

Two initiation speeches were made at the meeting of February 4. The first to speak was Chairman Osamu Watanabe of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).

Our organization was founded in 1958 to promote exports which was the key to our post war recovery. However, from the latter half of the 70’s, in view of our exports enormous growth, we changed our policies to promoting imports.

With the trade friction in regard of automobiles in 1995, the international trade market underwent change, and in order to respond to the needs of the day, the mission of JETRO also underwent change.

First, it became necessary to supply firms which wished to invest in other Asian countries with necessary information and provide consultation. Firms which did invest in plants in these countries often faced problems regarding changing rules and intellectual right ownership, and we are busy in trying to assist them in their difficulties.

We have opened 4 offices in China, in Beijing, Shanghai, Dairen and Hong Kong, and this year are opening in Kwangzu, Chingtao and one more inland city.

The second is to encourage investing in Japan. In order to activate our economy and to stimulate employment, it is necessary to have excellent capital, technical ability, know-how, and intellect to enter Japan. Prime Minister Koizumi has pronounced that he wishes to see the inflow of capital doubled in the next 5 years.

JETRO is looked upon by foreign businessmen wishing to invest in Japan as offering one-stop service in this regard.

Last May, we opened an “Invest Japan Business Support Center” in the Akasaka Twin Tower Bldg. where we have lawyers and accountants on hand and are now arranging for a hot line to the various ministries and prefectural governments. Today, we are placing emphasis on the six fields of machine parts, fibres, food, traditional goods, contents, environment and medicine, and welfare.

A committee was organized to promote exports of food and 30 prefectures have joined in organizing a “Maritime and Agriculture Japan Brand Export Promotion Council”.

There are functions of JETRO which remain unchanged today. We provide information from our 79 offices in 60 countries to our government and private firms, and we function together with the Asian Economy Research Institute as a think tank.

Another function is unique to JETRO. That is to use our know how to exhibit at expositions and trade fairs, and to exhibit wares of developing nations.

We thus wish to contribute to the development of our economic society through our engagement in the globalizing international society.

The second speaker was Vice President Eijiro Shiroki of the Shiroki Co. Ltd.: The raw material for making paper is roughly, wood chips and waste paper.
Recycling waste paper serves to cut down on CO2 which is produced burning, and lessens garbage.

By recycling a ton of waste paper, we can save 20 logs of 14cm width and 8 meters long. Our collection of waste paper is the most advanced system in the world, and reaches 62%. Although further advances may be made in waste paper collection from business offices, we are approaching the limit. Paper fibre becomes quite weak after 3 recyclings and cannot be used. In order to maintain quality we must add new tree fibre.

Our forest resources which are planted trees are a renewable resource.

By planned cutting of trees, replanting may be done. Using photo-synthesis, trees absorb CO2 and emit oxygen. Popular consciousness regarding forests is changing, and a new system, the FSC Forest Recognition System has been born.

A check is made as to whether the forest is healthy, being administrated properly, the living of people in the forest safeguarded, are all considered and a recognition symbol is given to all trees or charcoal produced, then a check is made for the delivery of same to the consumer.

Such a system to protect our woods was started in 1993. By using timber with this recognition mark, house builders, furniture makers etc. can assure that the forests are being well maintained and our ecology safeguarded.

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is an international non-government organization which provides recognition to self-sustaining forests.

Papermakers who use FSC recognized chips must clear its regulations and obtain CoC (Chain of custody) recognition. By receiving a CoC number, the paper can be traced to its source, assuring its legitimacy.

In order to preserve the world ecology, I hope that you will use paper which has received a FCOC number.

Japan is 3rd in the world in paper pulp manufacturing after the U. S. and China, and we consume 30 million tons annually. As we lack natural resources, 80% of our paper and chips are imported. The world’s forests have decreased by half in the past 8000 years.

There still are many locations where forests are being destroyed, endangering the livelihood of people living there with illegal tree cutting and transactions are conducted.

By making sure that we use only products from properly administered forests we can make sure that our forests are being protected for the future.