NEWS RELEASE: Honeywell and Operation USA Break Ground on Elder Community Center in Japan
OFUNATO, IWATE, JAPAN – October 24, 2012 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Operation USA announced today that they will begin construction on an elder care community center, the Honeywell Ibasho House, in Ofunato, Iwate, to provide support for residents affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
The Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund, a component of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, will build the Honeywell Ibasho House to support Ofunato elders, helping them to find their “ibasho,” a place where one feels at home. Scheduled to open in Spring 2013, the Honeywell Ibasho House is designed by Professor Suguru Mori with the Laboratory of Architecture and Planning at Hokkaido University using contemporary and sustainable building methods that can withstand future earthquakes.
“Honeywell is committed to helping Japan rebuild,” said Tom Buckmaster, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions. “Working with support from Mayor Toda of Ofunato, we’re confident that this center will help the community recover and flourish with healthcare, social programs and overall community resources for elders.”
“Approximately 23 percent of Japan’s population is now 65 years old or older,” said Mayor Toda. “With all of the changes that have taken place in the Japanese culture since the earthquake, it is critical that we find resources to help our elders find resources and support their recovery within a community of people of all ages.”
The Honeywell Ibasho House will be built in partnership with Operation USA, an international relief agency that helps communities overcome the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid.
“Honeywell’s support and partnership helps us achieve meaningful relief efforts like this critical community center in Japan,” said Richard Walden, President and CEO, Operation USA. “We are thrilled to have a partner that is consistently involved in every aspect of our shared relief efforts. Honeywell brings a steadfast commitment which will help the Ofunato community recover.”
The concept was developed by renowned gerontology specialist, Dr. Emi Kiyota Ibasho.org, an organization focused on connecting communities with its elders, Tenjin-kai, led by Dr. Yukimi Uchide, a social welfare foundation, and Ito-Gumi, a local construction company, are also helping to make the project possible.
Once completed, the center will be managed by non-profit organization Ibasho Sozo Project. Local schools and universities will be engaged to provide multi-generational interaction and establish support systems for the residents.