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Mizuho Heartful Business

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Supporting "Heartful Companies" through Financing

Aiming to become a bank readily accessible to everyone, MHBK has been pursuing its "Heartful Project" for incorporating barrier–free and universal design principles in banking facilities since November 2005. To help spread these design principles throughout society, MHBK embarked on its "Mizuho Heartful Business" in fiscal 2010. The "Mizuho Heartful Business" supports corporate and individual customers working to implement barrier"free and universal design principles.

Corporate customers fitting any of the following three descriptions are deemed "Heartful Companies" which are eligible for "Mizuho Heartful Loan" and "Mizuho Heartful Private Placement" services.

  1. (1)Companies that offer products or services that improve the lives of the elderly or disabled
  2. (2)Companies that actively employ the elderly or disabled and improve workplace environments toward that end
  3. (3)Companies that recognize diverse work styles and create workplaces that are open to all.

For individual customers, MHBK offers financial planning advice to build the financial means necessary for comfortable retirements, and "MHBK Remodeling Loans" to make private residences barrier free.

Characteristics of "Mizuho Heartful Loans"

A "Mizuho Heartful Loan" may be offered to a company that is judged to have met certain conditions based upon assessments of business activities, employment of the elderly, employment of the disabled, promotion of diversity, and other aspects of the company's operations.

In addition, taking the opportunity afforded by the use of "Mizuho Heartful Loans," MHBK offers supplementary services to support companies taking steps to address the Japan's falling birthrate and aging population.

These services include the presentation of a "Mizuho Heartful Loan Certificate;" the "Internal Barrier–Free Support Service," which provides a subsidy of 100,000 yen to customers meeting certain requirements, like having a plan for making their companies barrier free; the "Sompo Japan Public Subsidy Eligibility Assessment Service" for helping customers identify possibilities for receiving public subsidies, and the "NKSJ Risk Management CSR Assessment and Analysis Service," which employs a check sheet to perform a CSR evaluation of the customer based on the ISO26000 international guidelines on social responsibility.

These supplementary services have been praised by customers for providing support in areas traditional financing products do not address.

Mizuho Heartful Loan Financing Example: Matugen Co., Ltd.

Matugen Co., Ltd. is a supermarket operator headquartered in Wakayama City and operating 24 stores in Wakayama Prefecture and 12 in the southern part of Osaka Prefecture. To make shopping easier for the elderly and disabled, Matugen is moving to make all of its stores barrier free by, for example, installing multipurpose toilets and ramps. It also runs a free bus service and operates a web–based store.

Matugen also actively hires elderly and disabled people. As of June 2011, 11 of its employees were age 70 or older and over 2.7% of its workforce was classified as disabled. Adding to its efforts to make its stores barrier free, Matugen is doing the same with the back areas of its stores to ensure safe and secure working environments. Matugen's efforts to employ the disabled and improve its working environments have won high praise and, in fiscal 2010, it was named a winner of the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare's Prize for Outstanding Employers of Disabled Persons.

Matugen has also been a leader in supporting employees with children. Under its own "Measures for Supporting the Development of Future Generations," Matugen actively encourages employees with children of less than primary–school age to work shorter hours and works to get its male employees, in particular, to take childcare leave. Acknowledging these efforts to support parents with young children, Wakayama Prefecture, in December 2006, recognized Matugen as a "Company Supporting Childcare."

Given this track record, MHBK recommended that Matugen consider a "Mizuho Heartful Loan" for its financing needs. Matugen liked the idea of "Mizuho Heartful Loans," which provide financing support to companies responding to the impacts of the country's falling birthrate and aging population, and it agreed with the spirit of the "Heartful Project," Mizuho's effort to make its own facilities barrier free. Matugen, therefore, decided to apply for a "Mizuho Heartful Loan."

After assessing Matugen's various initiatives, MHBK decided to go forward with its first "Mizuho Heartful Loan" to a company based in Wakayama Prefecture. That led to coverage by local newspapers, and knowledge of Matugen's efforts for the benefit of the elderly and disabled among much of the public. Now, Matugen is accepting requests from local business organizations to give presentations describing its efforts to employ the disabled and doing other things, as well, to encourage others to follow its lead. Going forward, MHBK, working through its "Heartful Project" and "Mizuho Heartful Business" initiatives, will continue its efforts to bring about a society in which the elderly and disabled can live to their full potential and with a sense of security.

Customer's Voice

At Matugen, we are constantly thinking about what we can do to meet the needs of elderly and disabled customers and employees. Supporting MHBK's efforts to spread barrier–free and universal design principles throughout society, we chose to finance our operations with a "Mizuho Heartful Loan." Going forward, we hope to contribute to efforts to create environments that make daily life and work easier for the elderly and disabled in society in general.

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Mr. Kazuyoshi Kuwahara
Representative Director and President
Matugen Co., Ltd.

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Matugen accepts orders over the Internet and by phone, and makes same–day deliveries to customers living in a designated area.

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