OFUNATO, IWATE, Japan, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell (NYSE:HON) announced today the opening of the Honeywell Ibasho House, a community gathering place in Massaki-Cho, Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, dedicated to enriching the lives of elders affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote led the opening ceremony, joined by core project members and local dignitaries, including Mr. Kimiaki Toda, Ofunato City Mayor.
"Honeywell is committed to helping Japan rebuild this community in cooperation with our partners, the people in the community, and the city of Ofunato," said Cote. "As we express our appreciation and good will for the community on this opening day, it is our hope that the Honeywell Ibasho House will serve the region's elders with healthcare and social programs for generations to come."
"Currently about 32 percent of Ofunato's population is 65 years old or older," said Mayor Toda. "With all of the changes that have taken place in the Japanese culture since the earthquake, it is critical that we find resources to support our elders in their recovery while surrounded by a community of people of all ages."
The concept for the Ibasho House was developed by Dr. Emi Kiyota, a gerontology specialist and founder of Ibasho, a Washington, D.C.–based, not-for-profit organization, and built by funds from Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell's corporate social responsibility organization, and its Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund.Other partners included international relief agency Operation USA, Social Welfare Corporation Tenjinkai, architect Professor Suguru Mori of Hokkaido University, and Itohgumi Ltd., an Ofunato-based construction company. The building uses reclaimed wood framing provided by local residents Mr. and Mrs. Ozawa. Its architecture reflects traditional Japanese house style with modern technologies designed to withstand earthquakes. One of the unique approaches that the Honeywell Ibasho House embraces is the active participation and self-sustainability of the community elders, who now have a place to share their experiences and wisdom with younger generations, and feel at home again.