On June 7, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machinery Systems, Ltd. (MHI-MS), a Kobe-based MHI Group company, invited 76 first-year students of Hongo Junior High School in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, to its Printing & Packaging Machinery Headquarters located within the city. Here, as part of the "Bridge to Tomorrow Project 2018," the young guests learned all about newspaper production, from the editing process to actual printing.
The Bridge to Tomorrow Project has been held every year since 2013. It consists of activities to convey the fun and appeal of monozukuri-the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship-to children by integrating the educational activities of "Newspapers in Education (NIE)," an international program that uses the newspaper as a teaching tool, with the products, manufacturing and technology of MHI-MS, while also forming close bonds with the local community.
The day began with MHI-MS employees explaining the history and mechanics of printing, followed by a presentation on the processes involved between the time a newspaper is printed and its delivery to our homes. This was followed by a talk by a newspaper reporter who described how to conduct an interview and how a newspaper page is put together, after which the children were given the opportunity to create headlines for news articles. In the afternoon, the students then took on the role of newspaper journalists, first taking a tour of MHI-MS's corrugating machinery and web offset press production sites, and then setting off to a newspaper publishing company in the nearby city of Onomichi to observe how newspapers are actually printed.
Once the students have compiled the contents of what they saw into the form of a "class newspaper," MHI-MS will have the newspaper printed and sent to the school.
We hope that through this session, the students gained not only an understanding of how the newspapers we read every day are published, but also valuable experience in creating newspaper articles themselves and realizing both the enjoyment and difficulty of writing.
Going forward, the MHI Group will continue to promote activities to support the development of the next generation while maintaining close communications with local communities.