Hello Woods Symposium 2012: Healthy Forests and Healthy Kids
On March 1 and 2, 2012, a symposium was held at Honda's Aoyama Headquarters Building. Both days of the event began with a talk by Hello Woods Forest Producer Ryuichiro Sakino on some of the initiatives being carried out at the facility.
The first day's theme was “Healthy Forests.” Associate Professor Yoshihisa Suyama of the Graduate School of Agricultural Science and Faculty of Agriculture at Tohoko University gave a keynote entitled “Forests as Seen from the Perspective of Genes.” Then a panel discussion was held with Professor Ken Takada of the Department of Sociology at Tsuru University acting as moderator. Professor Suyama and Mr. Sakino were joined as panelists by Daizaburo Kuroda (Senior Councilor, Ministry of the Environment and Advisor to the COP10 Promotional Committee), Tatsuhiro Ohkubo (Professor, Department of Forest Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University), and Shuhei Tomimura (Director, Forest Revitalization Systems Corp.). In addition to reviewing an introduction to Hello Woods data, the group discussed the future of forests from a variety of perspectives.
The second day's theme was "Healthy Kids." The keynote, entitled “Current State of Today's Children and Related Initiatives,” was given by Associate Professor Shingo Noi of the Faculty of Education at Saitama University. Another panel discussion was held with Naoki Nishida (Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, Sakushin Gakuin University Women's College) serving as moderator as Kazunari Fujiwara (Supervisor for Youth Education, Sports and Youth Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Hatsuo Sato (Director, National Outfitters Training School), Tatsuro Ise (Representative, Tokushima Outdoor Activity Education Center), and Tomoko Sudo (School Nurse, Hekizan Elementary School) joined Professor Noi and Mr. Sakino as panelists. Participants analyzed the Hello Woods children's camp program and held a lively discussion about what is needed to ensure children are healthy. (All participants' titles are current as of March 2012.)
Hello Woods 10th Anniversary Commemorative Symposium (2010)
On October 30, 2010, the Hello Woods 10th Anniversary Commemorative Symposium was held at Hotel Twin Ring. Itaru Ohno, Twin Ring Motegi's first general manager, greeted participants and attendees by noting, “Mobilityland does more than just hold races. We're also pursuing programs to foster development of the next generation by giving children the experience of driving vehicles with their own hands and feet and interacting with and discovering authentic nature.”
Next, Takanobu Ito (President, CEO, and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) declared, “Honda supports the activities of Hello Woods as it works to develop 'Forests that keep people healthy.'”
The program continued with a presentation by Hello Woods Forest Producer Ryuichiro Sakino looking back on 10 years of activities at the facility, followed by a keynote and then a panel discussion. The keynote by Minoru Taketazu (a veterinarian, photographer, and essayist) compared human child-rearing with the rearing of offspring by wild animals. Dr. Taketazu noted, “It's natural in the world of wild animals that rearing offspring is hard labor. This isn't an area where you want to skimp on how much time you spend.”
The theme of the panel discussion was “Healthy Kids and Healthy Forests: Sustainable Forest Development.” Dr. Taketazu was joined by Mayor Tatsuya Koguchi of the Town of Motegi, Professor Tatsuhiro Ohkubo of the Faculty of Agriculture Department of Forest Science at Utsunomiya University, and Associate Professor Shingo Noi of the Faculty of Education at Saitama University as panelists. Mayor Koguchi noted that he would like to introduce a system that requires city residents to do work in the mountains, while Professor Ohkubo suggested that the outstanding characteristics of the Japanese satoyama village forest should be communicated to the world as a model for a sustainable society. Associate Professor Noi noted that it is necessary for adults to be healthy in order for children to be healthy, and Dr. Taketazu observed that people are becoming weaker in today's society, which has adopted an excessive focus on hygienic management.