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October 15, 2018

Kokubunji City and the Research & Development Group of Hitachi,
Ltd. enter a comprehensive partnership agreement to invigorate the
local community by creating innovation

Launching a project under the theme of
"connecting with the community" with Kokubunji residents

[image]Image of the fun app for residents to participate in community activities
Image of the fun app for residents to participate in community activities

Tokyo, October 15, 2018 --- Kokubunji City ("the City") and Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501) Research & Development Group ("Hitachi") today signed a comprehensive partnership agreement ("Agreement") to invigorate the local community through innovation creation. Based on the Agreement, both parties have launched a project under the theme "connecting the community" to explore future societal systems that support the sustainable development of local communities with technology, design and resident participation.

In 2017, the City drafted a comprehensive plan, "Kokubunji City Comprehensive Vision,"*1 and is executing initiatives in many areas such as community invigoration, welfare, and environment, to realize this Vision. At the same time, to accelerate innovation to resolve challenges in society, Hitachi will be opening a new research facility*2 in March 2019 under the concept of "Collaboration Forest" within its Central Research Laboratory located in Kokubunji. Through this new partnership, the City and Hitachi, with the cooperation of residents, will address the development of a human-centric city to raise the quality of life (QOL) for residents and resolve challenges in the community. The overview of the project and areas for collaboration defined under this agreement, are as follows:

Project to deepen local connection through the "KOKU VEGE" initiative promoting "locally produced, locally consumed"

As one initiative under this agreement, Hitachi will launch a new project with residents under the theme of "local connection" at the "Kokubunji City cocobunji Plaza" ("cocobunji Plaza") located on the 5th floor of the "cocobunji WEST" building adjunct to the Kokubunji railway station. The project which will be carried out with the cooperation of local famers participating in the "KOKU VEGE" Project*3 promoting "locally produced, locally consumed" and local eateries, will develop a system to enable residents to select vegetables from cocobunji Plaza to take to selected eateries where the vegetables can be prepared and consumed. The residents will be able to participate in this activity to support "locally produced, locally consumed" using an app that utilizes blockchain technology*4, to enjoy KOKU VEGE and deepen their connection with Kokubunji. (To be implemented in the latter half of November 2018)

Hitachi will contribute to the formation of "connections" between residents and QOL improvement by designing systems that will allow residents to enjoy participating in community activities, and support these with digital technology.

Areas for collaboration defined under the Agreement

  • Related to improving the QOL of residents
  • Related to vitalizing local industry
  • Related to improving societal infrastructure
  • Related to measures to resolve societal challenges including regional challenges faced by Kokubunji City
  • Related to developing an even better urban environment

The City and Hitachi will collaborate with regional business and nearby universities such as the Musashino Art University, to engage in various projects to explore various mechanism to form "community connections" which will become the basis of future societal systems.

Comment from The Honorable Kunio Izawa, Mayor of Kokubunji City

"I am very happy with this opportunity to work with the Research & Development Group of Hitachi, Ltd. through this Agreement. We hope that the City, residents and local businesses will work together as one in an "all Kokubunji" effort in this collaboration to make Kokubunji an even more attractive city, and to resolve regional challenges as part of efforts to shape a sustainable city for the future."

Comment from Mr. Yuichi Yagawa, General Manager of the Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd.

"I am delighted to sign this Agreement with Kokubunji City. The Central Research Laboratory of Hitachi, Ltd. was established in Kokubunji in 1942. Since then, we have developed numerous technologies at this laboratory. We look forward to working with the residents of Kokubunji City to contribute to the creation of social innovation that will realize a sustainable city for the future through Hitachi's cutting-edge technology and Vision Design."

*1 (Japanese only)
28 June 2016 Hitachi News Release: "A New Research Facility in Kokubunji based on the Concept of "Collaboration Forest"(Japanese only)
KOKU VEGE Project:"KOKU VEGE" is an acronym formed from "Kokubunji vegetable" (Koku + Vege) for vegetable produced by farmers in Kokubunji. Kokubunji has been a 300 year farming history. The "KOKU VEGE Project" was launched by the City and provides original menus in over 80 eateries in Kokubunji to promote the local consumption of local produce.
Blockchain technology: An on-line ledger technology that connects stakeholder in a network, to securely record, confirm and share information on digital transactions. By applying this technology to the KOKU VEGE project, the logistics & distribution status of produce can be efficiently tracked between various stakeholders such as producers, consumers, and the local neighborhood communities, distribution routes in the Kokubunji area optimized, and furthermore, and used to investigate mechanisms to improve the local economy. Hitachi is a member of the Hyperledger Consortium, an international body involved in the standardization of blockchain technology, and is involved in the development of blockchain platform technology and its standardization.

About Kokubunji City

Kokubunji City, located virtually in the center of the Metropolis of Tokyo, with a total population reaching over 120,000 residents, covers a total area of 11.46 km2, extending 5.68 km from the east to west and 3.86 km from the north to south. The City has been developing as a residential area in the outskirts of the capital, and is a cultural city with lush greenery and waterways. Most of the city is situated on the Musashino Plateau. At the southern edge of the plateau, the Kokubunji Cliff Line (Kokubunji Gaisen, Hake) creates a steep and sudden drop in the terrain, and abundant waterfalls pour into the Nogawa River from various. The City is also blessed with many precious cultural properties with a long history. One cultural landmark is the the ruins of the Musashi Kokubunji Temple. In 741 A.D., a decree was passed by Emperor Shomu for the construction of temples throughout Japan to pray for the peace and prosperity of the country. Kokubunji takes its name from this temple.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society's challenges, combining its operational technology, information technology, and products/systems. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2017 (ended March 31, 2018) totaled 9,368.6 billion yen ($88.4 billion). The Hitachi Group is an innovation partner for the IoT era, and it has approximately 307,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation with customers, Hitachi is deploying Social Innovation Business using digital technologies in a broad range of sectors, including Power/Energy, Industry/Distribution/Water, Urban Development, and Finance/Social Infrastructure/Healthcare. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

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