Through its initiative to enrich lives of communities, Toyota hopes to contribute to creating Japan's future through monozukuri(manufacturing), developing people, and developing regions. Toyota is starting this initiative in Tohoku, a key production base for its compact cars, helping the region rebuild itself into a new community. To promote monozukuri at one with the region, Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. was established in July 2012 with Tohoku as its base for making the most competitive and attractive compact cars in the world. In its effort to develop people, Toyota founded the Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy in April 2013 to develop human resources that will form the core of monozukuri. Furthermore, to contribute to regional development, Toyota established the F-Grid Concept to build infrastructures that would support monozukuri and people development, as well as a new project to foster collaboration between agriculture, commerce, and industry. In this way, the entire Toyota Group continues to work on helping restore Tohoku through monozukuri, developing people, and developing regions.
Resilient production structures, high levels of technology achieved in cooperation with suppliers, and monozukuri with high value addition represented by hybrid vehicle development were all born in Japan. Capitalizing on these strengths and refining Japan's monozukuri can improve Japan's global competitiveness. As Toyota's third manufacturing hub in Japan, Tohoku plays an important role toward this goal. Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. (TMEJ) was established in July 2012 by merging together Kanto Auto Works, Ltd., Central Motor Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Tohoku Corporation with the mission of "Using Tohoku as the base for making the most competitive and attractive compact cars in the world." The company hopes to contribute to local employment and the promotion of related industries by working with local monozukuri industries to build Tohoku into a major car manufacturing location.
Ceremony to Reaffirm Commitment to Tohoku Region Revitalization held in April 2013
The Aqua hybrid, symbolic of the innate strength of people in the Tohoku region, achieved the highest sales in Japan in FY2012 (283,000 units)
An integrated production system was established with the operation start of the engine plant, Toyota Group's first such plant in Tohoku
In July of this year, TMEJ and Toyota Tsusho jointly established Vegi Dream Kurihara Corporation's third paprika growing facility on approximately three hectares of land adjacent to the Miyagi-Ohira Plant of TMEJ Head Office and began full-scale cultivation of paprika. Paprika was chosen because 90 percent of paprika consumed in Japan is imported. The plant grows 10 different colors of paprika in a greenhouse with reduced use of agricultural chemicals and expects production of around 315 tons/year. Furthermore, the heat for the greenhouse is supplied from the F-Grid and water is supplied from a rainwater tank, enabling an ultra energy-saving and competitive farming operation. Vegi Dream Kurihara's goal is to establish a new model of collaboration between agriculture, commerce, and industry to expand the market for fresh, domestically grown agricultural products through a safe, secure supply, thus increasing Japan's self-sufficiency.
Vegi Dream Kurihara's third paprika growing facility
Toyota established the Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy, an intra-corporate training school inside the site of the Miyagi Ohira Plant of the Toyota Motor East Japan Head Office, to develop people and support regional revitalization through monozukuri at one with the region from a medium- to long-term perspective. Based on Toyota's philosophy of "monozukuri is about developing people," the Academy's work to develop people targets young leaders who will carry Tohoku's monozukuri heritage into the future under an integrated three-part initiative*.
The Academy opened its doors on April 1, 2013, selecting its students from applicants who were new graduates of technical high schools in the six prefectures in Tohoku. The Academy also accepts employees of local companies. A total of 20 students enrolled in the inaugural class, including five employees from local companies. Technical education at the Academy is characterized by a focus on learning basics and fundamentals through the concept of genchi genbutsu. With the goal of learning from monozukuri in Tohoku, the Academy's educational program is designed to help students learn from the Tohoku people's attitude of using things wisely and the monozukuri the spirit from the old days of Japan through genchi genbutsu. For example, it incorporates Wakayanagi Jiori, a traditional cotton cloth-weaving craft with deep roots in Tohoku.
Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy
Practical training for basic technical skills at the Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy
Students learning about monozukuri in Tohoku Production of Wakayanagi Jiori at Chiba, Ko Wear Co. (Toyoda Type-Y automatic loom)
To all the staff members of the Toyota Technical Skills Academy, thank you very much for teaching me so much over the past year. I learned the Toyota teamwork spirit, which encourages everyone to work together to achieve a unified goal utilizing our skills knowledge, minds and bodies. Thanks to the healthy lifestyle habits I learned at the Academy, I was able to attend all my classes without missing even a single day. I hope to help with regional development and the restoration of Tohoku through monozukuri in the future.
Masaki Ishigaki Student of the Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy inaugural class
The Yui Gallery, opened inside the Academy, allows students to come into direct contact with state-of-the-art car technologies, environmental and energy technologies, and the joy of monozukuri.
As part of its initiative to contribute in whatever way it can as a car company, the Academy holds summertime parent-child workshops to help nurture the future leaders of the 21st century.
The Academy opens its doors to classes on monozukuri to people working at local companies and holds short-term (5-day) and medium-term (8-week) seminars designed especially for them.
Toward the realization of a leading factory in town by creating a smart community with competitive and low-carbon infrastructures, full-scale operation of the F-Grid commenced in April 2013. The F-Grid structure comprehensively manages the energy inside an industrial park where factories are located. The F-Grid Center stores or distributes in an optimum balance the electricity and heat generated by a large-scale gas engine and solar panels to nearby companies participating in the F-Grid. Furthermore, during emergencies, the F-Grid Center will perform disaster prevention and recovery functions and supply the generated power to surrounding communities via Tohoku Electric Power. Toyota will also utilize the Toyota East Japan Technical Skills Academy as an energy-independent disaster information dissemination center to help surrounding communities recover quickly.
Ohira Village is moving forward with conversion into a "smart community" that utilizes its regional energy efficiently. Using the F-Grid centered around the Miyagi-Ohira Plant of the Toyota Motor East Japan Head Office as its main hub, the village and the industrial park are working together to build a disasterresistant and environmentally considerate community that is safe and secure, and promoting communication between local residents and Toyota employees.
Masahiro Atobe Mayor of Ohira Village, Miyagi Prefecture
Toyota received the 2012 Mecenat Award for Supporting Hearts from the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Japan for the restoration efforts it carried out under its Kokoro Hakobu Project* (recovery and revitalization support activities through art and cultural events). This award in the Mecenat Grand Prize category recognized Toyota's continuous and long-term recovery and revitalization support activities with " kokoro(heart)."
2012 Mecenat Award Ceremony