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"Yokohama Forever Forest" Tree-Planting Ceremony Held at Yokohama Tire Corporation's Virginia Plant

"Yokohama Forever Forest" Project Plants 2,000 Trees in Salem

April 04, 2009

Media Contact: Dan Smith, PCGCampbell, (562) 810-6101,

SALEM, VA (April 4, 2009) Fullerton, CA-based Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) held a tree-planting ceremony today as part of its Forever Forest project at its Salem facility, which produces tires for passenger cars, light trucks and SUVs. Forever Forest is a long-term, global venture by YTC's parent company in Japan, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., and is part of the organization's Grand Design 100, which mandates environmental preservation. The April 4th event was the first time the project has come to the United States, and the first to take place outside of Asia.

More than 250 participants, including local elementary school children, community volunteers and Yokohama Tire employees, along with their families and guests, worked together to plant more than 2,000 tree seedlings. The trees will help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while creating more woodland areas at Yokohama facilities.

"Yokohama Tire Corporation's slogan is 'excellence by nature,'" said Takao Oishi, president and CEO of Yokohama Tire Corporation. "Today's event embodies our commitment towards environmental preservation and I'm very pleased to see so many people help us in this important and beneficial effort."

The tree planting was led by Dr. Akira Miyawaki, a world-renowned ecologist noted for his work in reforestation and a professor emeritus at Yokohama National University. He has guided more than 1,500 tree-planting activities around the world, having thus helped in the planting of 30 million trees. He has additionally led the successful reforestation efforts of tropical rainforests in Malaysia, Borneo and Japan. Dr. Miyawaki was the 2006 recipient of the Blue Planet Prize, the environmental-studies equivalency of the Nobel Prize.

Prior to the Salem tree-planting, Dr. Miyawaki investigated trees indigenous to the specific area. Based on this research, he selected a variety of trees to use, including Northern Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, White Oak, Red Maple, Black Gum and Sourwood.

Dr. Miyawaki provided instructions on how to plant the trees using the "Miyawaki method," which has been shown to accelerate forest growth compared to traditional planting methods.

The Salem tree-planting initiative was hosted by Mr. Tadashi "Ted" Suzuki, Yokohama Tire Corporation's executive vice president of manufacturing and technology. It follows similar events at six Yokohama locations in Japan, and events at Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc., in August 2008; at Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co., Ltd., in China, in November 2008; and at Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd., in Thailand, in January. The next Forever Forest tree-planting event will take place at Yokohama's Plant in Shinshiro, Japan next month.

The Yokohama Forever Forest project will create forest areas over ten years at domestic and overseas production sites, concluding in 2017 in conjunction with the centennial celebration of The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. Approximately 500,000 trees will ultimately be planted by seven facilities in Japan and eleven facilities overseas.

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit For details on Yokohama's environmental efforts, go to

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Taking Care of Your Tires" section at