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Yokohama takes advantage of Chinese ties

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Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has been busy in China of late, working through its China-based subsidiaries.

Its Yokohama Tire Sales (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. facility will join forces with the China Environmental Protection Foundation -- an advisory body to the Chinese government -- to highlight Yokohama's environmental activities and products "and to spread recognition throughout China that Yokohama Tire equals tires friendly to the environment. The company will feature its ties with the China Environmental Protection Foundation in television commercials and advertisements.

Established in 1993 to promote environmental protection, the China Environmental Protection Foundation provides financial assistance to individuals and organizations engaged in activities such as environmental protection, research and human resource development in the field.

As an approved partner, Yokohama Tire Sales (Shanghai) may use the logo of the foundation on its promotions and public relations efforts for its environmentally sound products. Popular Chinese actor Louis Koo is Yokohama's celebrity spokesman in China.

Yokohama Rubber (China) Co. Ltd., a holding company in China, will support an environmental protection project carried out by a Chinese environmental NGO, the Beijing SanSheng Environment and Development Research Institute.

The project will benefit Heyuan, an ethnic minority village in the Laojun Mountain Nature Reserve in Lijiang, Yunnan Province. In the Lijiang region, economic development is being activated by tourism, etc., even as deforestation, poaching and so on are threatening the natural ecosystem.

The project will offer technical guidance on agroforestry (crop cultivation and agricultural methods without destroying forests) and will support regional development activities such as green tourism (stays in farming villages).

"The aim is to help establish an economic system in which villagers can earn a living while preserving the natural ecosystem," adds Yokohama.

Environmental awareness has been growing among consumers in China, who are increasingly interested in efforts to reduce negative environmental effects.

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