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Feature on Financial Education

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Committed to Practical Real–World Financial Education

Mizuho believes that it is vital for the sound growth of children who will create our future society to learn about the basic financial system from an early stage of school education. Based on this recognition, Mizuho started a joint research project on financial education in fiscal 2006 with Tokyo Gakugei University, a specialized university to foster teachers.

The initial, basic research period ended in fiscal 2008 and led to the development and improvement of education tools. Based on this, 2009 marks the start of a new three–year practical research phase to further strengthen the classroom. Also in fiscal 2009, we developed innovative video materials that are easy to use at the educational site and actively promoted their use for workplace experience and practical lessons in classrooms. We also reinforced public relations and held activities such as open lectures.

In addition to the initiatives for financial education to make it easier for elementary and secondary school students to learn the role of finance, we endeavored to offer useful lectures and educational programs for higher education. To this end, Mizuho set practical themes in view of the latest difficulties facing the financial industry as part of the contributed lectures and courses that it established in six academic departments at five universities to provide university students with truly useful information.

Elementary and Secondary Education Fields

Promoting Initiatives to Enhance the Quality of Worksite Operations

Mizuho cooperates in offering elementary and secondary school students with workplace experience so that they may gain firsthand knowledge of what it means to work. This workplace experience is highly anticipated by teachers at the educational site as part of career education, and Mizuho has tried to increase the number of days it is offered every year. To enhance the quality of the workplace experience while responding to schools' requests to the extent possible, Mizuho has developed financial education textbooks for elementary and secondary school students. These textbooks explain deposits, loans, remittances, currency exchange and the social role of banks, as well as customer reception manners relative to the lobbies and cashier windows of Mizuho branches. The textbooks are available on request at all Mizuho branches. In addition, video materials for employees summarize the key points for educating students on the spot at the branches. These became available in April 2009.

By effectively drawing on these educational tools, the workplace experience was offered at 110 Mizuho branches nationwide during fiscal 2009, an increase of 51 from the previous fiscal year. Furthermore, Mizuho Group employees offer financial education in classrooms as guest teachers on finance, and more than 10,000 persons have participated in these dispatch lessons since the program started in 2006. Similar events to educate students at worksites and provide financial education in classrooms using our materials have been positively implemented at overseas Mizuho branches, extending the educational activity worldwide.

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Workplace Experience

Manager's Comments

I try to use familiar examples so that the students will be more interested.

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Chisako Naruse Manager, CSR Promotion Office, Corporate Communications Mizuho Financial Group

Initially, I worried about how I could explain finance mechanisms to children who have never even used ATMs. Yet, as I began to mention familiar examples such as shopping at a supermarket with pocket money, they soon became eagerly attentive. They raised many questions. Their questions and responses were so straightforward that I sometimes had to check myself on the role or meaning of finance from an unknown viewpoint. I will strive to use my financial education lesson to better explain items in an easy–to–understand manner such that the students will increase their interest in banking and finance.

Financial Education Lesson Implemented at Special Education Schools in Collaboration with Teachers

In November 2008, Mizuho prepared Life and Money, a textbook for special education schools, as part of a joint research project with Tokyo Gakugei University to support an initiative to increase the social participation of handicapped children. Financial education in classrooms using this textbook has been conducted since fiscal 2009.

Mizuho emphasizes the policy of "Creating lessons with homeroom teachers" through the joint preparation of guidelines with teachers while discussing such subjects as "What to communicate to children?" and "How should we lead the lesson?" Thus, teachers endeavor to offer lessons tailored to the degree of understanding of the respective students to help them understand the textbook and apply the lessons to practical use in their daily lives. In fiscal 2009, Mizuho held practice lessons and study meetings at seven special education schools including Kitakyushu Chuo Koto–Gakuen in Kitakyushu (Fukuoka).

Mizuho will continue to improve the textbook and lessons through a continuing exchange with the teachers who understand best how to reach handicapped students.

Higher Educational Field

To Develop Talented People Who Can Lead the New Paradigm Shift

Amid the global recession following the subprime crisis in the United States, the world's economic paradigm has shifted. The world's financial institutions must now develop new financing methods that fit well with initiatives in the environmental business and recent economic trends in view of new phenomena such as the intensifying competition to obtain worldwide resources relative to the economic development of the emerging nations and the rising interest in global environmental issues that may result from global warming.

In these circumstances, in its educational offerings at universities in fiscal 2009, Mizuho newly addressed such themes as "Recent Financial Situation (Economic Trends Triggered by the Subprime Issue)," "Environmental Business and Finance" and "Development of New Financings." With these contributed lectures and courses having a focus on the recent global situation and economic circumstances, Mizuho aims to develop sophisticated human resources who can lead a new paradigm shift via finance.

Manager's Comments

I could reconsider the role of and expectations in trust by myself through the lectures.

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Rikiya Suda Manager, Business Planning Section, Corporate Planning Department Mizuho Corporate Bank

I was in charge of giving a lecture on the trust business at a lecture contributed to Waseda University. The trust business is an unfamiliar mechanism to most students. I prepared for the lecture with my wish that they would understand better how the trust business is a familiar system unexpectedly used in our social life.
I courteously explained the main players, the basic mechanism and the actual method of trusts in the financing business while mentioning the utilization of trusts in our familiar social life such as the pension system and the Ecopoint system. I was happy as I could see that the students were keenly interested in finance through the exchange of views with several participants after the lecture.
The lecture was a good opportunity for me to reconsider the role and expectations of the trust business myself. I hope that I will have similar opportunities to raise students' interest in finance.

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