Section 2 Initiatives for Making the SDGs a Mainstream Trend
There are 17 SDGs, and the items to be attained span a wide range of areas. At the same time, in order to realize the vision of a society where “no one will be left behind,” it is necessary to tackle the SDGs not only through efforts by the government, but also jointly with private-sector corporations, NGOs/NPOs, and local public entities. To that end, it is important to raise awareness of the SDGs among the Japanese people, and to create a wave of action, resembling a “national movement,” towards achieving the SDGs. From this perspective, efforts were made in 2017 to propagate the concept of the SDGs to the citizens, in cooperation with the media and entertainment sector. Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd., which is one of the most popular entertainment companies in Japan is dedicated to promote SDGs by appointing the entertainers and creating panels and posters corresponding to the 17 goals, using them for various events and stamp rallies. At the reception hosted by the Government of Japan at the HLPF mentioned previously, PIKOTARO, a Japanese entertainer, performed an original song composed specifically for promoting the SDGs, titled “PPAP for SDGs.” This song has also been distributed on the official YouTube channel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In keeping with such initiatives to promote the SDGs, in September 2017, PIKOTARO was appointed as the “Goodwill Ambassador for the Promotion of SDGs” at “Global Festa 2017,” an international cooperation event held in Tokyo.
To encourage corporations and organizations in their efforts and to promote all-Japan initiatives towards the achievement of the SDGs, the SDGs Promotion Headquarters decided, at their third meeting held in June 2017, to launch the Japan SDGs Award in recognition of Japanese corporations and organizations which have put in place excellent initiatives that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. The Japan SDGs Award draws attention to leading initiatives by the private sector and citizen groups in Japan, as well as public-private partnerships, and also helps other organizations in their SDGs initiatives by presenting them with specific examples of good practices. The recipients of the Award were selected based on the views of a selection committee comprising members of the SDGs Promotion Roundtable Meeting. In the first awards ceremony held in December last year, the town of Shimokawa in Hokkaido was selected, from a large number of submissions, to receive the SDGs Promotion Headquarters Chair's (Prime Minister's) Award. Recipients of the Japan SDGs Award include organizations from a wide range of sectors, such as local public entities, NPOs, private enterprises, citizen groups, and the education sector, highlighting the fact that diverse initiatives are being implemented across Japan. In addition, to provide strong backing for initiatives by the private sector and citizen groups towards the implementation of SDGs, the official logo was provided to corporations and organizations that are committed to the SDGs.
In the business circles as well, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) revised its “Charter of Corporate Behavior” for the first time in seven years early in November. This Charter sets out the behavioral guidelines that corporations should comply with, and the revised Charter establishes the achievement of SDGs through the realization of Society 5.0 as its own pillar. In the securities industry, the Japan Securities Dealers Association established the “Council for Promoting the SDGs in the Securities Industry,” and declared that the securities industry will also address the social issues raised as a part of the SDGs. The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) is also promoting SDGs initiatives by corporations, announcing that efforts by corporations to incorporate SDGs into their business strategies and initiatives to address social issues can create investment opportunities.