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Message from Partner

Last Updated: 2012.04.03
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Kayoko HOSOKAWA, Director of Special Olympics Japan

Why and how did you start the partnership with UNIQLO?

Through Oracle Japan, one of the supporting corporations of Special Olympics Japan, I was introduced to Mr. Yanai. Since I was personally interested in the business and corporate philosophy of UNIQLO, a company that has been a great success, I was more than happy to take the opportunity to present our activities to the top management.

What kind of activity is the Special Olympics?

Special Olympics has a high social recognition in the United States, where the games were first developed. In Japan, however, it is not yet known as much. Special Olympics is a volunteer sporting organization that provides sports training and athletic meetings for mentally challenged people (we call them athletes) who tend to lack physical exercises. Our activities are carried out continuously all year around. It usually takes some time to comprehend our activities no matter how we explain, but Mr. Yanai grasped the essence of it in a few minutes. I was stunned with joy when Mr. Yanai said, Your activities are fantastic because you emphasize on continuous daily training. I felt that, if the CEO understands our objectives, the employees would sure be able to share his spirit.

What do you expect from UNIQLO in the future?

For Special Olympics, it is very important to get the younger generations involved, since they are the one who will spread our future volunteering activities. To increase awareness and participation in our organization, we would be delighted to have UNIQLO store staffs all over Japan take part in this program. We would like the store staffs to play sport together and communicate with the athletes. We wish that every employee and also everybody that visit this website take a role in Special Olympics. In addition, we hope to replicate the leadership,flexibility and determination developed in the UNIQLO stores to our event. We sincerely wish that employees of UNIQLO and those who came to know our activity through this website, would participate in any way they can.

Kayoko HOSOKAWA

Profile: Kayoko Hosokawa, Honorary Chairperson, Special Olympics Nippon Foundation (Japan)

In 1971, a few years after graduating from the English Dept. of Sophia University in Tokyo, she married the politician (and future prime minister) Morihiro Hosokawa.
In 1994, she established Special Olympics Nippon and toured the country speaking about it. She also heads the Japan Committee of a UNICEF-related NPO called "Vaccines for the World's Children" that sends vaccines to children in developing nations. In addition, she serves as Chairperson of "able," an organization that produced a documentary film of the same name about teenagers with intellectual disabilities.

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