A leading Japanese journalist (now, Executive director of The Japan Environmental Education Forum) who has for 10 years been active in conservation and anti-pollution movements. During 1986 and 1987, through his newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, he conducted major information campaigns on global environmental issues.
Mr. Okajima was coordinator and chairman of the 1987 Tokyo international journalists symposium on the environment.
Professor Hideo Obara
An eminent zoologist who for over 40 years has been active in conservation and public education. He is the author of more than 100 books and papers on mammals and wildlife conservation etc., and is a leading campaigner against reopens Ivory Trade and whaling in Japan and abroad.
He has held many responsible positions as a volunteer: "former" Chairman of TRAFFIC-Japan; board member of WWF-Japan (Chairman of Conservation Committee); Director General of the Nature Conservation Society of Japan; and "recently" Representative Board Member of Japan Environmental Council; Advisor of IUCN and SCC; President of Japan Wildlife Conservation Society etc.
The environmental correspondent for Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese daily newspaper with a circulation exceeding 12 million. His reports from Africa in 1986 highlighted environmental problems and led to a change towards support for sustainable development in Japanese aid policy. His books and articles on environment are widely read and used as texts in Japanese schools.
Dr. Mish Hashimoto
Dr. Hashimoto has worked for 30 years in the fields of environment and public health at national and international levels. He was the driving force in the development and implementation of Japan's basic legislation on the control of pollution, particularly concerning air and water.
Since 1985 he has been prominent in projects for Japan's environmental cooperation with developing countries.
Since 1967 industrial pollution in Kitakyushu City during the past several decades has been drastically improved through organised efforts among local government industries, universities and the public.
Air and water pollution had reached dangerous levels requiring the City government to strengthen control, monitoring and investment for sewerage and industrial clean-up. Dredging of hazardous harbour sediments was performed with cost- sharing by industrial companies. Urban parks have been expanded by city government and industry.
Kitakyushu City won the Japan Environment Agency Award in a "star watch" contest in 1987, which gave evidence of the revival of clean air in the city. The city also won the "UNCED Local Government Honours" in June 1992, in special recognition of its achievements in overcoming its severe environmental pollution and its active efforts in international environmental cooperation by making use of the experience.
Dr. Jun Ui
Dr. Ui, a Japanese chemist, has spent his scientific career documenting pollution and its impact on human beings. He was one of the first scientists to document the mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan, and subsequently supported a movement for the victims. In Okinawa he is campaigning against an airport runway that could destroy a unique coral reef. He has also worked on a survey of riverwater quality, and studied and promoted the role of citizen's initiatives related to environment. Dr. Ui has also initiated and organised free environmental lectures for all citizens at the University of Tokyo.
He is presently the president of the Asian Environmental Society.
In 1978, Professor Satoo established the Japan Wildlife Research Centre, a non-profit making NGO which has contributed effectively to the development of government policies for conservation of biological resources in Japan. Under Professor Satoo's guidance, the Centre began technical cooperation with developing countries on wildlife conservation. As President of the Centre and Vice President of the International Union Forestry Research Organizations, he has published several books and more than 100 papers.
Kazuo Hishida, President of the Hishida Office of Planning and Environment, has participated in the formulation of national environmental protection policies in Japan. His efforts in the 60s and 70s have led to the drafing emission standard papers and technical guidelines for emission control for factories. He was recently appointed First Foreign Counsellor of the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Aika was born on November 26, 1979 and passed away on December 27, 1991.
For a girl so young, Aika knew more about the environment than other children. She left a lasting legacy with the publication in several languages of her book Secrets of the Earth. The book tackles many of the problems pertaining to man and nature.
Presented as a comic book Secrets was a one-girl project. Aika drew the illustrations, composed the text, organized the layout and the overall presentation. The book is being used as a textbook in elementary and secondary schools in Japan and its relevance may prove useful in other countries as well.