President of Orion Breweries Yoshio Kadekaru tells his personal story of childhood poverty
June 17, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
President of Orion Breweries Yoshio Kadekaru spoke out about the issue of childhood poverty, saying that he also experienced living in poverty. He went on to say he cannot allow children today to have the same experience.
Kadekaru was born in what was Yabu Village, now Nago City. He lost his father to the war when he was seven years old. After the war, his mother raised her five children as a single parent. He said that if he did not help his mother with her work, they could not put food on the table. Even as a student, he did labor such as mowing lawns for foreign residents to support his family. After graduating Naha Commercial High School, he got a job at Daiichi Mutual Savings Bank, the predecessor to Okinawa Kaiho Bank. He said at school he “could not go on field trips, or even purchase a school uniform.” Looking back, he remembered borrowing a school uniform for his interview at the bank.
In commemoration of its 30th anniversary, Orion Breweries ordered tropical plants including golden shower trees from places such as Hawaii and South America, and distributed them throughout Okinawa free of charge. These were used in conjunction with a cultural exchange effort to provide the viewing of tropical plants for Okinawans and visitors alike.
Orion Breweries’ company statutes stipulate that part of its profits can be used to benefit the community. Company founder Sosei Gushiken’s vision of “an Okinawa where youth can play an active role in society” puts emphasis on this statute.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)
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