Who we are

On the lecture meeting at Syowa Women's University 2005 in Tokyo

MOTTAINAI Campaign-----who we are and how we came about

was set into motion by Prof. Wangari Maathai. When she came to Japan at the invitation of The Mainichi Newspapers February 2005, she met up with Japanese tongue "MOTTAINAI" in an interview with Mr. Yoshinori Kando, the former chief editor of The Mainichi Newspaper. She had sympathy deeply for it, and propounded to spread MOTTAINAI around the world as a common keyword for conserving environment. She has been speaking about the concept in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, for example at the commission on the Status of Women March 2005.

The Mainichi newspapers and Japanese business firm "ITOCHU Corporation", that give them approval to MOTTAINAI Campaign, make an ally to shape sustainable and cyclical society on a global scale by promoting making the most of limited resources and using them as efficiently as possible: as represented by the "3Rs": to reduce waste, reuse finite resources, and recycle what we can.

9 children earning the prize for excellence essay of their MOTTAINAI activity

Students selling MOTTAINAI goods in attached high school of Tokiwa University: Mito-city in Ibaraki prefecture

With its daily circulation of 4 million, the Mainichi has been calling on Japanese to do what simple things to reduce carbon dioxide emission to prevent Climate Change, especially Global Warming, like such things as not driving their car for distances they could easily walk, turning out lights that don't need to be on, using energy conserving home appliances and choosing their own reusable shopping bags over the plastic bags handed out at stores. Many people across Japan have shown their support for the concept of MOTTAINAI, with a recent poll showing that 80 percent of Japanese are aware of the MOTTAINAI Campaign.

Some examples of where MOTTAINAI has successfully worked include:

  • Toys made with empty tissue boxes as an example of utilizing resources displayed by 200 kindergartens in Kawasaki, a city adjoining Tokyo;
  • Students in Sapporo, the capital of the northern island of Hokkaido, using the theme of "Life and MOTTAINAI" for their school festival, where they displayed panels of images depicting war, starvation and poverty -- all examples of unnecessary waste -- and appealed to adults to create a peaceful world.
  • Kanagawa and Fukushima prefectures have both adopted "MOTTAINAI" as a prefectural catchphrase forming part of their basic environmental protection policies. Both Kanagawa and Fukushima have tackled environmental protection on a prefectural level in conjunction with the bureaucracy, business community and other organizations. Specific achievements include Kanagawa's campaign to get people to turn off taps when they don't need to use the water.

Japanese companies active across the globe have also thrown their support behind the MOTTAINAI Campaign, including Toyota Motor Co., trading company Itochu Corp. and distributor Aeon Co.

Contact us

Global contact by email
For general inquiries and questions you can contact us via this email form.
You will be contacting MOTTAINAI Campaign office ? if you have a question such as concerning MOTTAINAI and a donation, or membership question.

MOTTAINAI Campaign office
1-1-1 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Mail to: eng@mottainai.info

Governance & Structure

MOTTAINAI Campaign is the nation wide movement of Japan run by The Mainichi Newspapers Company, producer of a major newspaper in Japan, and it's trademark is registered under Japan law, located in the Tokyo headquarter of The Mainichi Newspapers Company, set up a partnership with ITOCHU Corporation under Prof. Maathai, the honorary chair of the MOTTAINAI Campaign.

MOTTAINAI Campaign is also supported by the global company originated of Japanese birth, including Toyota Motor Co., distributor Aeon Co.

About Prof. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai is the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmentalist, a civil society and women's rights activist, and a parliamentarian. You can know and understand her life and her organization through her books, Unbowed: A Memoir and The Green Belt Movement. You can also scan condensed versions of her life and achievements, including being awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

Since winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai has become a spokesperson for a number of important initiatives.

Both before and since she won the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai has spoken about, and been interviewed on, a range of subjects. You can read these articles, interviews, and statements, by visiting the themed sections listed at the bottom of this page, and in the menu bar on the side of each page.

For more information

The Mainichi Newspapers

The Mainichi Newspapers Corporation Headquarter office in Tokyo

Founded in 1872, its 134-year-long history makes the Mainichi the oldest Japanese newspaper. The Mainichi has 3,200 employees working in 364 offices in Japan and 26 bureaus overseas. The Mainichi has two bureaus in Africa, one in Cairo and the other in Johannesburg.

The Mainichi has a daily circulation of 4 million and 12 million readers. The Mainichi is one of Japanese big three newspapers in terms of circulation and employee numbers, and has 79 associated companies, including TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), MBS (Mainichi Broadcasting System) and the Sports Nippon Newspaper.

Two former Mainichi Newspapers Chief Executive Officers have gone on to become prime ministers of Japan. The Mainichi Newspapers is the only Japanese newspaper company to have won a Pulitzer Prize. The Japan Newspapers Association, made up of 180 news organizations, has granted the Mainichi is Grand Prix award on 22 occasions, making the Mainichi the most frequent winner of the distinguished prize since its inception in 1957.

ITOCHU Corporation

The history of ITOCHU Corporation (hereinafter "ITOCHU") dates back to 1858 when the Company's founder Chubei Itoh commenced linen trading operations. Since then, ITOCHU has evolved and grown over 150 years into a sogo shosha, engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textiles, machinery, information and communications-related products, metals, products related to oil and other energy sources, general merchandise, chemicals, and provisions and food. In addition, ITOCHU has made multifaceted investments in insurance agencies, finance, construction, real estate trading, and warehousing as well as operations and businesses incidental or related to those fields.
Under the former mid-term management plan "Frontier-2006," ITOCHU reached its objective of "becoming a Highly Profitable Corporate Group achieving over \100 billion in consolidated net income in a steady and sustainable manner."
ITOCHU will now move forward with the implementation of our new mid-term management plan, "Frontier+ 2008," under which we will adopt an even more aggressive management policy and strive to enhance corporate value on the world stage, in order to become "a Global Enterprise that is highly attractive to all stakeholders."