The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The Fujisawa Beach Cleaning Project focuses on cleaning beaches in the Shonan area south of Tokyo, and on gathering data on marine debris. Now in its seventh year, the project was started by long-term Japan residents Alana and Michel Bonzi.

This community activity brings foreigners and local Japanese together to do something good for the environment and to get better acquainted. The family-friendly project creates opportunities for engagement and offers benefits on both an individual and corporate level.

It provides an easy opportunity for colleagues to volunteer together, as project partner firms usually sponsor teams of employees and their families.

Company participants tend to highly regard volunteer projects that involve their families, as such opportunities promote work–life balance while allowing a family to spend quality time together.

The business benefits include team building, heightened employee commitment, and enhanced corporate image, while community and social benefits include improving the environment and helping local organizations.


The project also ties into a global movement to improve and raise awareness about the state of the world’s marine ecosystem. Debris collected during the cleanups is recorded for a national survey on the state of Japan’s beaches and an international report on the state of the world’s beaches.

The Fujisawa project is conducted twice a year, with 350 volunteers uniting for a day of service. The spring campaign, on April 24, is a special way to commemorate Earth Day (April 22). The fall campaign, on September 25, is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Initiative.