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HORITOMI Commercial & Industry Inc.: Holift Water Foldable Emergency Water Tanks Support Disaster Relief Efforts

27 Aug 2021 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

HORITOMI Commercial & Industry Inc. was established in 1885 and has been manufacturing logistics containers and high performance coating films for 136 years. The company began with the manufacturing and selling of cotton packing bags and raw material for spinning. After the war, it exported bags for wool to Australia and New Zealand. There, the wool was packaged in these bags and exported to Japan, where it was made into high quality garments by wool weaving companies and exported around the world. 

Today, HORITOMI manufacture packing paper and anti-corrosion paper for steel coils and car parts, flexible container bags for transporting chemical raw materials, and import factory automation and labour-saving equipment from Finland, Germany, and Italy, for sale to Japanese customers. HORITOMI have always believed that business activities and social contribution activities are like two wheels of a car - in order to move forward, both wheels must be turning at the same time. The company's raison d'être is the well-being of its employees and their families, and its contribution to the local community.

One of the company’s manufacturing plants is based in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, and was badly damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster. Iwaki’s water supply was cut-off for about a month after the disaster, then for another month after a shallow aftershock struck on April 11 2011. As a professional logistics container and packaging manufacturer, HORITOMI thought about ways to address this problem and went on to develop a foldable emergency water tank, Holift Water.

At present, whenever the water supply is cut off, many local governments in Japan will receive water via truck from a neighbouring municipality. These trucks are equipped with taps to provide the water directly to the local citizens. Due to the high cost and limited number of these water trucks, the points from which water can be distributed will also be limited, which results in large queues forming at these locations.

HORITOMI proposes that municipalities store the Holift Water foldable water tanks so that, whenever water supply is cut off, it will be easy to place the tanks throughout each district. The water trucks will then be able to travel between these areas and the water treatment plants throughout the day to ensure a continuous supply.

Use of these foldable water tanks has now been adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Waterworks, the 23 specials wards of Tokyo, the Japan Self-Defense Force, and the water and sewerage bureaus of various municipalities across Japan. In addition to selling these tanks, in the event of a disaster the company also provides support to bring water supply to affected areas.

For example, one tonne of drinking water was delivered by truck to Joso City during the flooding of the Kinugawa River, to the large-scale evacuation sites at Mashiki Health & Welfare Center, hospitals and elementary schools after the Kumamoto earthquake, to various community centers and locations requested by local neighbourhood associations during the flooding of Onomichi, Hiroshima, and to city water distribution points in East Japan after Typhoon Hagibis.

With each disaster relief operation, HORITOMI make improvements based on their experience of how the product is used on the ground. This has earnt the praise of a Tokyo University professor specializing in disaster preparation, who referred to the project as “practical disaster relief that benefits the local community”.

On 7 July, after the recent landslides struck Atami, two employees drove by truck from Sakai, Osaka, to the Nakamichi Community Center in the affected area of Izusan to deliver and install two Holift Water tanks.

As many elderly live in that area, having a daily water supply is vital. These people were very glad to have use of the tanks, as were the Tokyo Fire Department, Self-Defense Force and National Police Agency members working in the area, who were covered in mud while searching for the missing. After the day’s work, this water supply allowed them to wash the mud from their uniforms.

As a company with a base in Fukushima, HORITOMI will never forget when, a month after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and resulting Fukushima disaster, the Prime Minister of Australia was the first world leader to visit the Tohoku region. The following year, the Australian Ambassador to Japan donated playground equipment to the village of Iitate, where many had needed to evacuate, and to this day ANZCCJ and many Australian businesses in Japan have continued their volunteer efforts. HORITOMI believe this engagement between communities has contributed to the wonderful relationship between Australia and Japan, as friendship is formed between individuals before it is formed between nations.

As a company, HORITOMI would like to express their gratitude to the people of Australia and New Zealand for their support after the disaster 10 years ago, and will hold on to this gratitude as they continue with their disaster relief efforts.














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