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>> Turn off your lights. Take it slow--June 21 8 to 10 p.m.
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>> Candle Night in Oku-Nikko, Tochigi
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>> 'Lights Down' initiative in Japan--June 21 & July 7

Report on "Candle Holders" Meeting

"Candle Holders" are corporate supporters of Candle Night. We got together on October 7 for a "Candle-Holder Meeting." We exchanged ideas and information regarding the December Candle Night campaign. People from 10 companies attended, despite the fact that it was the night before a Typhoon was expected to hit Tokyo.

Kazuyoshi Fujita, one of the key promoters of Candle Night, made opening remarks.

Shin-ichi Tsuji, another key promoter, talked about his enthusiasm of having Candle Night in winter--especially during the Christmas season. His declaration of "Winter Solstice Supremacy" added excitement to the meeting. .

The second session, organized by Junko Edahiro, another key promoter, was held in World Cafe style as usual. She presented two questions: How and why is Candle Night important to Japan, the world and the Earth? What can we do to spread Candle Night to the public?

For the first question, each group presented these key ideas:

*Good opportunity to tell someone you love them, which can be difficult in ordinary settings.
*1000 people's 1000 steps instead of one's 1000 steps.
*A good tool to communicate with families.
*Seeing something invisible by turning out the lights.
*Good opportunity for Asia to take a leading role in the environmental front.
*Getting a bird's eye view of the globe from space.

For the second question, the following ideas were presented:

*Collaborating with celebrities and popular spots, such as Tokyo Disneyland.
*Having a marathon race at night with candles.
*Having Candle Night opening ceremonies at professional soccer games.
*Having Candle Night as part of environmental education for children.
*Having events with customers of the corporate supporters.
*Having a contest using web tools such as YouTube to share the Candle Night moment with people around the world.

All participants enjoyed the discussion, and many wanted more time to talk about Candle Night.

(Akiko Kawagoe)

December 11, 2009