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Held on December 8,2018 TOMY Kids' Symposium How to become friends with children around the world through toys? Held on December 8,2018 TOMY Kids' Symposium How to become friends with children around the world through toys?

*2
TOMY Kids' Symposium

The TOMY Group is exploring how to achieve its CSR vision of becoming friends with children around the world*1

But it is not always easy. They might be living in far away countries. Even if they live near, you have never spoken to them before. The language they speak most often is different to yours, or they come from a different culture…

What should we do to achieve this CSR vision? To find out, we held a TOMY Kids' Symposium, where we seriously discussed social issues and the future with children.

*1 We referred to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to set out our CSR vision.
Link: TOMY Group Social Responsibility Goals
*2 We created a special logo illustrating friends, peace and the SDGs, all key elements for achieving our CSR vision.

How to become friends with children around the world through toys?How to become friends with children around the world through toys?

  • Topic 01

    Becoming friends with children with disabilities

  • Topic 02

    Becoming friends with senior citizens

  • Topic 03

    Becoming friends with children from the Southern island of Tuvalu, at risk of sinking from global warming

  • Topic 04

    Becoming friends with children living in poverty or
    conflict-stricken nations

Thirteen elementary school participants (grade 3 to 6) discussed with TOMY staff and not-for-profit CANVAS members.

Children expressed their own opinions at the symposium and we learned many things from them.
Their ideas and thoughts will be used to help determine TOMY Group material issues (materiality). Here are some of those ideas.

Becoming friends with children with disabilities

There are an estimated 9.36 million people with physical and mental disabilities in Japan*. That is one in every 15 people. There are many children with different disabilities including those who use a wheelchair, those with limited hand movement, those with visual and hearing impairments, and those who are highly sensitive to loud noises or bright light.
The TOMY Group is currently developing accessible-design toys that can also be enjoyed by children with visual or hearing disabilities, but we want to encourage more children to enjoy playing with toys.

*2018 estimates from Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Ideas and impressions *We focused on children in a wheelchair to make the topic easier to grasp.
  • We can play card games and mental games together!
  • We can play freely using virtual reality (VR)
  • It is easier to become close friends if you understand how they feel!
  • Get children in wheelchairs to show us how to use them and go somewhere together in wheelchairs!
  • Have a wheelchair race. Make friends by playing wheelchair basketball or other sports together!
  • TOMY is great at Transformers or Shinkalion robots, so why not make wheelchairs change into wheelchair robots!
  • Might make friends with wheelchair robots if walk around together?

Becoming friends with senior citizens

We want to become friends with adults too, don’t we! Japan has 35.57 million people aged 65 or over. That is roughly one in 3.5 people*. Those senior citizens were children themselves once, who played with many toys.
They have some things that are the same as children and some things that are different. Let’s think about what they are great at and what you Kids can do better.

*2018 estimates from Statistics Bureau of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication
Ideas and impressions
  • Everyday life can be hard when you are not so mobile, so we can help!
  • It would be good to think about games, toys and going out together to get healthy!
  • It is easier to make friends if you have things in common! We can find common interests if we talk first before playing!
  • Some of today’s toys have evolved from old ones, such as Beyblade from a traditional spinning top. It would be great to advance old toys and play together!
  • Simple games are better! Games you can learn straight away!

Becoming friends with children from the Southern island of Tuvalu, at risk of sinking from glocal warming

Tuvalu is an island nation in the South Pacific, located 6624 km from Japan or approximately nine hours by plane, with a land area 1/100 the size of Tokyo. Tuvalu residents used to be self-sufficient, living off ocean fish, and homegrown fruits and vegetables, but recently the island’s capital of Funafuti has been developed, lots of buildings constructed and is now full of people, generating lots of trash.
The country is now well-known for the fact that it lies not very far above sea level, and is at risk of disappearing altogether if climate change continues to cause the sea level to rise.

Ideas and impressions
  • We can teach each other our language! I want to interview them and find out what they like!
  • Tuvalu is a hot country, so it could be fun to teach them about winter games!
  • If the sea level rises, we could create a floating island!
  • If the sea level rises, we could do a treasure hunt on the sea! Search for treasure in a changing environment!
  • We could help them clear up all that trash to make space for a playground like we have at school!
  • We could use the trash to create artworks.
  • Turn the trash into local specialties and sell them to foreigners! A global trade plan!

Becoming friends with children living in poverty or conflict-stricken nations

Many countries and regions still suffer from poverty or war and cannot afford to have toys. Some people have had to escape from war and cannot lead safe, comfortable lives. In some areas, families cannot survive on the salaries earned by the parents, so the children have to pick through mountains of trash to find things to sell, or secretly work in factories. Currently, one fifth of the world’s population lives on less than 1.25 US dollars or 150 yen per day.
These children are so busy getting by day by day that they cannot go to school.

Ideas and impressions
  • We can play hand games and running races without any toys!
  • We could send toys and clothes we no longer use!
  • We could trade toys for something. We can interact by writing names on things we exchange!
  • Hold a doll-making contest with prizes and then sell the winning works! Make art and sell it!
  • A country without toys might lose its identity if we force toys on it. If we teach them technology, that country won’t lose its special characteristics!
  • Help a country by using its famous products to make devices and toys to sell!
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