Annual Report>2005>Social Commitment

Social Commitment

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As a responsible corporate citizen, the JFE Group believes that contributing to society is a vital part of its corporate mission. Through our branches, production plants and other workplaces, we participate in and support a variety of events such as local festivals, sports tournaments and cultural activities. Other initiatives include local public-service cleanup activities by employees, the opening of our facilities to the public, and helping schools organize tours of our production plants.

In addition, through the JFE 21st Century Foundation, the JFE Group engages in activities designed to contribute to the revitalization of the steel industry and the creation of an affluent society with a high quality of life.

JFE Steel Chita Works "Special Scientific Experience"

To mark the 60th anniversary of its opening, in 2003 JFE Steel's Chita Works stepped up contributions to the local community, including hosting a festival jointly with the local authority, Handa City in Aichi Prefecture. A "Special Scientific Experience" course was held as part of this, to convey to children how enjoyable and interesting manufacturing is. Since March 2003, this course has been held jointly with the local Board of Education for local fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school children.

Employees and former employees from various departments at the works have served as instructors, conducting guided tours of the tube plant and courses on the production of cast-steel accessories, and giving the children a hands-on feel of how interesting it is to manufacture things. The courses were held a total of 12 times up until July 2005, with more than 790 children participating.


JFE 21st Century Foundation Support and Funding Activities

The Kawasaki Steel 21st Century Foundation was established in 1990 with the objective of further promoting harmony between the group's business activities and society in general, and of sharing prosperity with the community at large to achieve a more open presence. In 2003, the foundation's name was changed to the JFE 21st Century Foundation, which adopted that same objective and today serves as the JFE Group unit with the task of overseeing the group's social contributions.

The Foundation conducts surveys and research that contribute to the development of the steel industry and related industries, provides support for technical research, and undertakes projects that contribute to regional development and international exchanges related to the steel industry.

Activities undertaken during the year ended March 2005

1. Provision of research funds to universities for research into steel technologies and environmental preservation technologies
2. Publication and donation of two books on the subject of steel: Tatara -- Nihon korai no seitetsu [Foot bellows: Steelmaking in ancient Japan] and Tetsu -- Furukutemo shinkashiteiru zairyo [Steel: An ancient but evolving material]
3. Contributions to regions with connections with steel production and the arts (support for Fukuyama Rose Festival, Kurashiki Music Festival, etc.)

Support for technical research at universities


2004 grant presentation ceremony
2004 grant presentation ceremony

The Foundation made donations of 2 million each to 25 projects engaged in research in the fields of steel industry technology and environmental preservation. It received 205 applications from 69 universities throughout Japan, selecting 16 research projects in the field of steel technology and 9 in the field of technologies that promise to contribute to environmental preservation. The grants for the steel technology projects comprised 5 for manufacturing processes, 6 for materials, and 5 for related technologies, of which 3 were for applied research and the remaining 13 for basic research; this preponderance of basic research projects was a distinguishing feature.

The 9 grants for research on environmental technologies comprised 4 related to energy, 4 for environmental preservation and purification, and 1 for biomass. All are expected to be brought into practical use in the near future.

Over the 14 years of support, a total of 540 million in research assistance for 267 projects has been granted.

Publication and donation of science primers

Some of the donated books
Some of the donated books
Another of the Foundation's activities was the publication of two books aimed at arousing scientific interest in steel on the part of middle and high school pupils and members of the general public. The two books, entitled Tatara -- Nihon korai no seitetsu [Foot bellows: Steelmaking in ancient Japan] and Tetsu -- Furukutemo shinkashiteiru zairyo [Steel: An ancient but evolving material], were donated to approximately 1,500 institutions -- junior high schools, high schools, public libraries and others -- primarily in areas close to the JFE Group's steelmaking facilities.

In addition to these books, the JFE 21st Century Foundation also donated copies of an anthology of winning entries to a competition it has been supporting since 1991: a contest involving the writing of literary works by Japanese children overseas, conducted by Japan Overseas Educational Services, whose backers include the Japanese foreign and education ministries. The anthology, entitled Chikyu ni manabu [Learning from the Earth], was donated to elementary and junior high schools, public libraries and other institutions, as in previous years.

The boards of education of Yokohama and six other municipalities (Chiba, Kawasaki, Kurashiki, Fukuyama, Handa, and Taketoyo) sent the foundation letters of gratitude to express their appreciation for these philanthropic activities.

The Foundation receives an official letter of appreciation from the
Board of Education of the City of Yokohama
The Foundation receives an official letter of appreciation from the Board of Education of the City of Yokohama

For details, please see the JFE 21st Century Foundation's website (in Japanese)