Mitsui Fudosan uses a corporate logo with a design based on the ampersand (&) to symbolize the company’s philosophy. The symbol expresses concepts including coexistence and a deeply held respect for a diverse range of values. The fundamental objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have long been a key part of the firm’s management vision. A position that continues to emphasize reciprocal coexistence with the natural world and the global environment in communities created to ensure the delivery of convenience, comfort, and style.
Nihonbashi Revitalized with Key Links to SDGs
Since 1643, when Takatoshi Mitsui opened his clothing store in Nihonbashi, this district of Tokyo has been a special place for the Mitsui Group. To restore this neighborhood of the capital to its former glory as the “center of Japan,” Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. launched the Nihonbashi Revitalization Plan in the late 1990s, which brought together the government, private enterprise, and the local community to work cooperatively. The plan entered its third phase in 2020.
Known locally as the “Battleship Building,” the former Nomura Securities headquarters is to be replaced by a towering skyscraper. Construction is scheduled to start in 2021 for completion in 2025. The elevated expressway that now runs between Nihonbashi’s buildings is slated to be moved underground so that the riverbank can be recreated to provide a beautiful riverside environment.
“Preserve and revitalize the old while creating the new.” This concept underpinning the Nihonbashi Revitalization Plan perfectly matches the spirit of the SDGs. The philosophy is clearly demonstrated within the reconstruction of Fukutoku Shrine, a significant religious and cultural site said to have stood in its location for over one thousand years. Even today, one can see people praying quietly there, palms pressed together. The grounds are surrounded by a grove of trees that shields all visitors from the surrounding concrete, attracting the families and office workers who frequent the grounds to enjoy this oasis of tranquility amid the array of new, soaring skyscrapers. It is a place where everyone can enjoy the bonds of human companionship and feel their coexistence with nature.
“The spread of COVID-19 revealed the importance of open air spaces and spending time outside,” explains Mitsui Fudosan President and CEO Masanobu Komoda. The question of exactly how to introduce water and greenery into urban spaces is an increasingly important issue for the design and development of community-oriented cityscapes. Mitsui Fudosan’s Tokyo Midtown Hibiya complex in Chiyoda-ku, features an outdoor garden on the sixth floor where people are able to continue work outside the office. The new skyscraper being built in Nihonbashi will also have its own large garden. When the riverside redevelopment is completed,Nihonbashi will emerge as a place to enjoy waterside nature, adding the attraction of being even more relaxing.
Living and working in a rich natural environment leads to innovation. Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, located in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, about 40 minutes from Nihonbashi by train, was created to embody the themes of fostering new industries, living with the environment and healthy longevity. The project aims to rely on renewable energy generated locally and will also provide accommodation facilities for post-surgery rehabilitation designed in cooperation with Japan’s National Cancer Center. Financial assistance for start-ups and a support network of experts have been put in place to help nurture new industries that will contribute to a bountiful future for a better world. The goal is to become a place where emerging global issues are anticipated and solved.
How do we integrate a diverse range of values, innovation with tradition, and development alongside the environment? The only future for community development striving to meet these demands is one strongly guided by the perspectives of the SDGs.
The "&" mark of the corporate logo was adopted in 1991, the year we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary since foundation. The ampersand signifies our desire to bring together the seemingly contradictory concepts of development and environment, and to find ways for them to coexist. The idea of sustainability is deeply rooted in Mitsui Fudosan’s management philosophy.
The role of a real estate developer is to serve the needs of society and people through urban development. During Japan’s high-growth era, when its population and services were concentrated in the metropolitan center, we were the first to build skyscrapers. Also, when the nation needed land near harbors to support rapidly growing national trade, we advanced landfill development projects along the city’s seafront.
Japan is a maturing society, but what do people seek after they have obtained all the goods, convenience, and comforts they had always wanted? Two clear examples are history and culture. This is precisely what we had in mind for the Nihonbashi Revitalization Plan. The downtown community that will be created includes backstreets soaked with atmosphere, where visitors and residents alike will see and feel the traditional architecture of a townhouse from old Edo, as the capital was known back then.
The revitalization area is extensive, stretching to include the Yaesu district next to Tokyo Station. When the elevated expressway over the Nihonbashi River will be moved to a new underground route, the project will be finished and we are now about half way there. I would like to share with the world that Nihonbashi was once the center of Japan, the zero point of the five kaido roads that connected the nation, and tomorrow the district will be the nexus of new roads extending around the globe, and into the future.
COVID-19 has raised countless difficulties for companies, and Mitsui Fudosan is no exception. We have implemented a range of initiatives to minimize the potential for infection, including disinfectants, the elimination of all unnecessary contact, and improved ventilation, while striving to support our important partners, tenants, and the medical professionals working so hard to overcome the virus.
Corporations must do more than merely pursue profit, they must work with local communities to fulfill their social responsibilities. That is the only way companies can grow sustainably.