The 5th Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP) Held in Japan - 84 University Students from 7 Asian Countries Learnt “Biodiversity” in Fields-

The AEON Environmental Foundation (Chairman Takuya Okada; hereinafter, “the Foundation”) hosted the Fifth Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP) in Japan over six days, starting August 3,2016.


The ASEP is an environmental education program that was formed by the Foundation in 2012, with the aim of developing human resources capable of contributing to environmental fields on the global stage. This year, under the theme of “Biodiversity and Wisdom,” 84 university students from 7 countries (China, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Japan) were invited to participate in the program held in Tokyo, Chiba, and Hokkaido. The students, with their different natural environments, histories, cultures, and values, conducted fieldwork and exchanged views in order to learn about the relationship between biodiversity and humans. 


Chairman Okada of the Foundation gave words of encouragement to the students at the Opening Ceremony held at the Ono Memorial Hall of Waseda University on August 3.  His advice for the students was: “During ASEP, try to find your own answer to the question - what you can do to conserve the environment.”


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The students visited Shiretoko Peninsula which is registered as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Natural Heritage Site, and observed brown bears that coexist together with humans without being artificially fed. They observed the ongoing conservation activities for Blakiston's fish owls, a critically endangered species, and conducted fieldwork to learn about ecosystems. The students also visited Nijibetsu, in Shibecha-cho, Kawakami District, Hokkaido, and planted indigenous tree saplings in order to help protect the habitat of Blakiston's fish owl.  Also, they learnt about traditional Ainu symbiosis with nature that continues to the present day.


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On August 7, they went to the Eco Store, Aeon Mall Makuhari New City, Chiba, to learn about AEON's environmental efforts and deepened their understanding about harmony between tourism and conservation, and wildlife sensitivity and human wisdom.


The Foundation continues to proactively undertake a variety of initiatives to deliver beautiful nature which is full of life for the next generation through tree planting activities and other environmental conservation initiatives.  





1. Dates: August 3 (Wed) to August 8 (Mon), 2016

2. Locations: Tokyo, Chiba, and Hokkaido

3. Organized by: AEON Environmental Foundation

4. Co-organized by: Waseda University

5. Participating Schools: (in alphabetical order of the participating countries)
Total of 84 students from Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Tsinghua University (China), Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia), Waseda University (Japan), Korea University (South Korea), University of Malaya (Malaysia), Vietnam National University, Hanoi (Vietnam)

6. Sponsors: Mainichi Shimbun, China Youth Daily, Chosun Ilbo, Tuoi Tre

7. Attendees:
Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University
Shuji Hashimoto, Vice President of Waseda University
Takuya Okada, Chairman of AEON Environmental Foundation Chairman (Honorary Chairman and Advisor, AEON Co., Ltd.)
Motoya Okada, Trustee of AEON Environmental Foundation (Group CEO, President of AEON Co., Ltd.)

8. Program:
August 3 (Wed): Opening Ceremony (Ono Memorial Hall, Waseda University)
August 4 (Thu): Lectures from experts, observation of wild brown bears (Shiretoko)

August 5 (Fri):  Nature observation at Shiretoko Goko Lakes (Shiretoko)   Lectures from experts, fieldwork, Blakiston’s fish owl observation, etc. (Nijibetsu)

August 6 (Sat): Tree planting activity, fieldwork (Nijibetsu), lectures from experts (Kushiro)

August 7 (Sun): Study about AEON’s environmental initiatives (AEON Mall Makuhari New City)

August 8 (Mon): Final Reports, Closing Ceremony (Makuhari)


AEON Press Release  https://www.aeon.info/common/images/en/pressroom/imgsrc/160728R_2.pdf