Toyota City, Japan, May 31, 2022 – (JCN Newswire) – Futaba Town, Namie Town, AEON TOHOKU Co., Ltd. (AEON TOHOKU), and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) signed a Basic Agreement today for the Establishment of a Mobile Retail Business that Uses a Fuel Cell Vehicle in Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Bases (Basic Agreement).
Aim of the Basic Agreement
The two municipalities and two companies involved in the Basic Agreement aim to support residents experiencing difficulties with everyday shopping, through the establishment of a mobile retail business. Drawing on respective resources and expertise, the intention is to contribute to regional sustainability and environmental conservation to stimulate reconstruction efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake. In this way, the four signatories aim to resolve regional issues, improve administrative services, and build sustainable cities of the future.
Under the specific initiatives of the Basic Agreement, AEON TOHOKU, the main party involved, will launch on June 10 a mobile retail business serving Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Bases and other areas in Futaba Town and Namie Town where residents have an acute need for shopping support. Centered around AEON Namie Store, the business will seek to support local residents with shopping and aim to create a community that will foster peace of mind among both residents set to return home to the two towns, and those who intend to relocate to those areas. As a result, it is hoped that the business will expedite the lifting of evacuation orders for Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Bases in Futaba Town and Namie Town.
Furthermore, working towards the realization of a carbon-neutral society by 2050, AEON TOHOKU and Toyota, together with Futaba Town and Namie Town, wish to contribute to the creation of a sustainable community of the future that utilizes hydrogen. To this end, the use of the world's first* hydrogen-powered fuel cell (FC) mobile retail vehicle will be implemented.
Background to the Basic Agreement
Recognizing that the retail sector is part of a region's critical infrastructure, AEON TOHOKU opened the AEON Namie Store in July 2019 to support the reconstruction of the Hamadori region of Fukushima Prefecture, which incurred significant damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster.
Toyota is working together with various partners, mainly in collaboration with Fukushima Prefecture–including Namie Town, where the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field is located–and is examining how hydrogen-based technologies can be implemented to help build cities of the future using hydrogen generated in Fukushima.
Primary roles of the four signatories of the Basic Agreement
Futaba Town and Namie Town
Futaba Town and Namie Town will provide information regarding areas in which there is an acute need for shopping support–including the demand from residents for a mobile retail option, the location of existing stores in towns, and the living conditions of senior residents. With the aim of more sustainable community building, the two towns will work together with partner companies to resolve issues faced by local residents.
AEON TOHOKU will launch a mobile retail business in areas that have an acute need for shopping support. It will also create community spaces within the two towns, and work to provide services that encourage residents to return to their hometowns.
To facilitate these shopping support measures, Toyota aims to realize an even better mobility society that supports the creation of happiness for local communities by manufacturing innovative, safe, and high-quality products and services. The company will provide next-generation mobility in the form of the world's first fuel cell mobile retail vehicle.
Going forward, Futaba Town, Namie Town, AEON TOHOKU, and Toyota intend to deepen their partnership, further revitalize the region, and create new services for the benefit of local residents.
*According to research carried out by Toyota in April 2022
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