Restoring a Healthy Circulation of Forest and Forest Industry Providing Full Support for Wood Utilization Initiative

Japan is a forest superpower, with forests accounting for about two-thirds of its national land area. Forests have multiple functions, and among them the carbon absorption capacity of forests is attracting attention as Japan and other countries grapple with climate change. Forests also play an important role in preserving biodiversity. On the other hand, the forest industry has many problems, including low timber prices, high costs for replanting and the difficulty of business succession. In cooperation with forest owners’ cooperatives, the Bank will address the upstream, midstream and downstream issues regarding forests and the forest industry to contribute to fulfilling the multiple functions of forests.

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From the Front Lines

Fukuoka BranchTOGO Eri

TOGO Eri

The forestry industry requires a long business cycle from planting to logging in the span of about 50 years. Forest owners’ cooperatives support the forestry industry through forest maintenance and other operations from a long-term perspective.
The Fukuoka Branch yearly provides all forest owners’ cooperatives in Fukuoka Prefecture with managerial advice from a medium- to long-term perspective and in collaboration with the prefectural government and the prefectural federation of forestry cooperatives. Our financial analysis using data from all the prefectures in Kyushu has a high reputation for its ease of comparison between the prefectures and is utilized as a tool for recognizing and sharing managerial status on a prefectural basis.
The Medium/Long-Term Goals FY2030 set out by the Bank include “Increase the absorption of CO2 via forests, together with JForest members“ and “Increase the income of farmers, fishermen and foresters.“ Amid the progress of global warming, the role of forests as a source of CO2 absorption is attracting attention with expectations for forest owners’ cooperatives growing year by year. In the coming years, we will offer support for forest credit initiatives, thereby contributing to the carbon neutrality of our investees and borrowers. By promoting forest maintenance and issuing and selling forest credits, we will also strive to increase the income of forest owners.

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Contributing to the Realization of a Sustainable Society Through Wood Utilization

The fulfillment of forests’ multiple functions, appropriate maintenance and effective utilization of logged forests are pressing issues.
The Bank has joined the Japan Wood Design Association (JWDA)* in an aim to facilitate the use of domestic lumber and realize a sustainable society by utilizing forest resources.

* Established in December 2021, the Japan Wood Design Association refers to efforts aimed at solving social issues using wood as “wood design,“ and aims to contribute broadly to society through efforts to turn the forest industry into a growth industry, revitalize local communities and realize a sustainable society including decarbonization.

Ceremony to commemorate the establishment of the JWDA

Low-Cost Forest Replanting Project to Shorten the Replanting Cycle and Reduce Costs

The main points of the Low-Cost Forest Replanting Project are 1) using fast-growing trees, 2) using large-container nursery trees and 3) less dense planting. Demonstration experiments have been started at three sites in Japan— JForest Neba Village in Nagano Prefecture, JForest Miyoshi Regional in Hiroshima Prefecture and JForest Miyakonojo in Miyazaki Prefecture. Results obtained from these will be extended nationwide, and we will encourage replanting after major logging.

Points Description
①Using fast-growing trees The tree species that grow faster than cedar and cypress (China fir, for this project) Used to shorten the replanting cycle from 50 to 30 years.
② Using large-container nursery trees Large-container nursery trees are used to integrate cutting and replanting operations, thereby eliminating the need for creating a foundation and reducing the frequency of weeding operations. The period of operations was shortened from 3–4 years to several months.
③ Less dense planting Generally, the number of trees planted per hectare is 3,000. The project reduced the density of planting to 1,500 trees per hectare, eliminating the need for thinning operations. Number of trees planted was halved: 3,000 trees/ha → 1,500 trees/ha for the project

Containerized seedlings

Forestry Safety Education 360 Degree VR that Improves the Labor Safety of Forestry

The Bank expanded the lineup of “forestry labor safety improvement measures“ in fiscal 2020 by introducing the “Forestry Safety Education 360 Degree VR: Chainsaw Cutting Operation.“ In fiscal 2021, we additionally produced two educational videos “Disposing of Hanging Trees“ and “Chainsaw Kickback“ reflecting feedback from viewers.

Images of VR

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