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Winning First Prize at "Student Fukko Idea Contest"
Contributing to "Fukko" with our Change Card!

Yuto Fujita
Hiroshi Hasegawa
Masashi Funada

Student Fukko Idea Contest is an attempt to solicit ideas from students across Japan to solve issues of areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The idea by Yuto Fujita, Hiroshi Hasegawa, and Masashi Funada won First Prize at the contest.

Sharing the joy of winning First Prize

"I felt I should do something for affected areas, but it was difficult to participate in volunteer activities because of classes and study," Yuto recalls. "Then I went to the Student Fukko Idea Contest, and decided I should find what I could do and what only I could do and focus on the effort." Talking about his commitment to the contest, Yuto is the leader of the team who is serious, single-minded, and passionate. Hiroshi who is a very theoretical person, analyzing every social issue from a mathematical viewpoint and Masashi who takes action when he makes a spur-of-the-moment decision and surprises others with his unique opinions also share Yuto's commitment. Three of them got together whenever they had time and continued to think about ideas to apply for the contest. "We started with the definition of Fukko (restoration), identified issues and searched for concrete ideas," Hiroshi says. "After about two weeks without a good idea, our leader (Yuto) came up with a basic idea." His idea focused on "change" strongly associated with people's daily lives. "Charge Card" is a concept to charge the last two-digit figures of change when shopping at a convenience store and with saved money, one can purchase specialty goods from producers in the affected areas. This idea was an approach to mainly solve issues such as decreasing amounts of contributions to the Great East Japan Earthquake and farmers suffering from damage caused by rumors. They especially paid attention to whether the idea could be realized or not. "We share the attitude of not being satisfied unless it is proved and endorsed," Masashi says. "We didn't want to end up with a one-sided judgment." The three of them collected receipts from convenience stores, calculated the frequency of convenient store use by general consumers and the cost of system development, adding the finishing touches. Finally, they prepared a space to write a message to producers on the back of the card, adding a human touch to the idea.

"Change Card" passed the paper screening. The three of them gave a presentation at the contest venue in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture and tried hard to communicate their commitment to the idea and its feasibility. The judges commented, "It is highly feasible," and Change Card succeeded in winning First Prize.

Through the contest, they say they were able to feel familiar with society. What about their future? "I have recently often thought that society is functioning through connections among people. What I am now is thanks to the connections with these two guys. I want to be a person to connect people with people," Masashi says. "I've developed some confidence I can do something for social issues. I want to study more for the future of Japan and solve problems one by one," Hiroshi explains. "Solutions to all problems in society lie in the hearts of people. I hope to realize ideas that can radically change conventional human values," is the final comment from Yuto.

Currently, they are devoting themselves to the actual implementation of "Change Card" through partnership with corporations. Their dream may come true in the not too distant future.

Masashi (right) and Hiroshi (left) were in charge of operating equipment during the presentation

Yuto explaining their ideas

A photo taken near the Fishing Port of Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture, a place they visited at the time of the contest


Yuto Fujita (left)

Born in Chiba Prefecture. Graduated from Ichikawa High School. 1st Year, Master's Program, Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering. He spent his childhood in London. "My dream is to work abroad some day. Last summer, I studied overseas and am now focusing on studying English!"

Hiroshi Hasegawa (center)

Born in Chiba Prefecture. Graduated from Senshu University Matsudo Senior High School. 1st Year, Master's Program, Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering. His interest is watching overseas soccer games. "I want to be engaged in activities to make soccer, a sport beyond language barriers, loved by more people. That is my dream."

Masashi Funada (right)

Born in Saitama Prefecture. Graduated from Saitama Prefectural Kumagaya High School. 1st Year, Master's Program. Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering. His favorite movie is Forest Gump. "I love it because with positive thinking, we can feel that life will change for the better and that we can do anything!"