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ROHM's Illuminations Light up Kyoto
Green CSR activity contributes to society

The area around the headquarters of ROHM Semiconductor in Kyoto is lit up for a month in the lead up to Christmas Day. This year, the 19th the event is being held, featuring no fewer than 860,000 LED lights. The ROHM Illuminations are the largest and best-known lightshow in Japan's ancient former capital, and have grown steadily more spectacular over the years.

Each year, the displays and special events take place with a theme; for 2017 that theme is "Lighting Circus." Although the theme may change from year to year, the overarching goal is always the same: to light up the city and to warm the hearts of residents and visitors, many of whom travel from afar to enjoy the illuminations.

The ROHM illuminations are one of the company's CSR activities.

"As a maker of semiconductors, the company's approach to support the environment and community while meeting the expectations of our stakeholders is really important," said Yuka Nakata, CSR Division General Manager at ROHM's headquarters.

The idea of Creating Shared Value (CSV) to solve various social issues and put corporate activities into practice is gaining ground on a global scale. However, for ROHM, these initiatives are not new by any means. Although the scale of the company and the business environment has changed significantly over the 60 years since ROHM was established, its philosophies remain unchanged. These contribute to the advancement and progress of ROHM's culture through a consistent supply, under all circumstances, of high-quality products in large volumes to the global market. The keywords in the creation of such products and services are low-energy, safety, comfort and miniaturization.

Highlights of the ROHM Illuminations

The company's illuminations have a lot of highlights.

First, the gateway into the illuminations is created by two, circular-shaped 10-meter-high yamamomo or Japanese bayberry trees, which sit either side of the intersection of Gojo-dori and Sai-dori streets in Kyoto. The two trees, known as the symbols of the illuminations, are lit up with white LED lights that give off a variety of colors, including blue, purple and pink. As Japanese bayberry trees are said to represent a feeling of wholeheartedness and love for only one person, the illuminations aim to reflect those emotions to those who witness them.

Next are the Japanese bayberry trees leading the way into the "Promenade of Light" on Sai-dori, consisting of 20 Metasequoia, with hundreds of thousands of LED lights to create an atmosphere of bewildering wonder. The lights on the street change color to represent the autumn-to-winter shift in the shades of leaves, for which Kyoto is famous more than anywhere else in Japan. People can enjoy these changes.

At the plaza next to Nagura Park, the "Ensemble of Lights" illuminations include a 13.5m high and 9m wide giant LED display and LED balls spread out across the grass. Both the display and light from the LED balls change in time with music, which is played as part of the light show. The harmony of light and sound creates a truly wondrous experience for visitors of all ages.

Weekend Events

On the evenings of Saturday, Sunday and national holidays, everyone attending the illuminations will be taken through a "door" to a fantasy world of circus performers in a show in Nagura Park.

The plaza also features the return of the "University Students' Acapella Concert" after its acclaimed debut last year. Some 40 teams drawn from acapella groups at 13 universities in the Kansai region will perform eight concerts a day. Images on an LED display react to the voices of the performers in what is the biggest acapella event in the Kansai area.

Green Illumination

By planting trees, ROHM contributes to the vegetation in the vicinity of its head office and makes ROHM's home city of Kyoto a more beautiful place in the long-term.

The company's illuminations are also environmentally friendly. For example, the LED lights make full use of overdub technology, thereby enabling the illuminations to be lit up using less energy. In addition, ROHM uses green energy, which is electricity generated from biomass, and is engaged in carbon offsetting through low-energy initiatives at small and medium enterprises in Kyoto, as well as local community environmental projects to contribute to CO2 emission reduction.

"The illuminations are one of the CSR activities that ROHM does. In the future, it is important to expand CSV through CSR activities in order to be a company that can meet the expectations of our stakeholders," Nakata added.