By Kitakyushu City
Japanese Manga (comic) is now recognized as one of the world’s proudest Japanese cultures and is popular in many countries around the world. The City of Kitakyushu believes that through the Manga, it is possible to communicate its international environmental improvement initiatives to a wider audience in an easy-to-understand way.
Last year, Kitakyushu produced a Manga Study Guide: Our Future on the theme of its project in Surabaya, Indonesia, introducing the initiatives it has undertaken so far.
Kitakyushu is located at the gateway to Kyushu and has a population of about 1 million. A wide range of industries is concentrated in the city’s port area, including materials-based industries such as steel and chemicals. Although Kitakyushu developed as one of Japan’s leading industrial cities, it also suffered a devastating level of pollution because of its rapid industrial development.
The city has overcome its pollution problem through the cooperation of citizens, businesses, and government, and has used the experience gained through this process to formulate a number of advanced environmental policies. These achievements have been widely recognized both in Japan and abroad, and the city has been selected as a model city for a number of projects.
Kitakyushu has developed many international projects based on its experience in overcoming pollution. In 2010, the city established the Asian Center for Low Carbon Society, which has implemented many projects in collaboration with Asian cities.
A typical example is its work in Surabaya, Indonesia. In 2012, Kitakyushu and Surabaya became green sister cities and since then have implemented many projects in areas such as water supply and sewage, solid waste management, and energy. Especially in the field of solid waste management, Kitakyushu has long provided assistance to Surabaya.
With support from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kitakyushu and Nishihara Corporation, a local company in Kitakyushu, have been promoting the waste separation and composting business in Surabaya. They have set up a sorting facility for solid waste at one of the waste processing facilities in Surabaya and started a demonstration project in collaboration with waste pickers for the safe and hygienic sorting and collection of plastics and metals.
Another representative achievement of Kitakyushu is its environmental field initiatives in Haiphong City, Vietnam. Kitakyushu and Haiphong became sister cities in 2014 and have formed a strong partnership through projects mainly in the environmental field.
Against this backdrop, this year, Kitakyushu is developing a renewable energy-related project in Haiphong. The project will promote decarbonization in Haiphong with support from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. At the same time, the project also aims to create new businesses to promote the use of renewable energy. Kitakyushu hopes these initiatives will serve as a model for the development of eco-friendly industrial parks throughout Vietnam.
The Manga is currently published in Japanese and English, so it can be read by many people in Japan and abroad. The City of Kitakyushu will continue to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society in the world, attracting even more attention from people in Japan and abroad as a leading city in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.