I came to know about the dark issues of diamonds by trying to get more information about them in books and on the internet. I just wanted to know and expected to find wonderful and lovely things about them after I had received my engagement ring.
I still remember asking myself “Is this right?” when I learned that some diamonds – symbols of love and happiness – are mined, cut, and finally come to our hands as products of labor exploitation and destruction of the environment. Even worse, diamonds secured in these manners potentially fueled conflicts in other countries.
As I explored my thoughts as to how I might take an active role regarding this issue, it came to me that I could use my experiences in international development to improve the work environment of artisanal diamond workers as well as their social status.
Being Japanese afforded me even greater access and opportunity in playing a role to make a difference in the diamond industry. When I lived in Kenya I felt locals respected Japan as a country of high technologies and a country rising from the ashes after World War II. Moreover, as Japan had not colonized any country in Africa, locals seemed to have positive impressions toward Japanese while some had mixed feelings toward Westerners.
Having observed these conditions, I felt there was a lot of room for Japanese as well as Japanese organizations to make a difference in this matter, especially in Africa.
Diamonds for Peace is a new organization, but along the journey from our beginnings to today, I have received various forms of support from many people, and I am very grateful for all the support that I have received so far.
In this journey I expect to face many obstacles in the future. With our team, we will overcome these obstacles one by one as we practice out-of-the-box thinking. We will continue our journey to bring smiles on the faces of artisanal diamond workers for which Diamonds for Peace support. We are grateful for all who join us in this venture.
Diamonds for Peace
Director General, NPO Diamonds for Peace
Founder & CEO, Peace Diamonds Co., Ltd.
B.A. Business Management: Gakushuin University, Japan
M.A. International Development Studies: George Washington University, USA
1996-1998 Visited Haiti several times
1997 Summer, NGO volunteer in Johannesburg, South Africa
1998-1999 Local Consultant in Republic of Haiti
1999-2001 Consultant/Project Formulation Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Laos Office
2001-2009 Worked in Private Sector in Japan (PR Company, Business Consultancy, Freelance – education industry)
2008 Married and became aware of the issues of diamonds.
2009-2011 Expert on Health Promotion, “Project for Strengthening Management for Health in Nyanza Province, Kenya,” Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). During service in Kenya, thought about how to solve the issues of diamonds.
2012 Winner under social business category: Yokohama Business Grand Prix, Japan
2013 Attended Entrepreneur Weekend and Social Capital Markets 2013 as the first certified Japanese social entrepreneur.
Founded Peace Diamonds Co., Ltd to build the value chain of ethical diamonds.
2014 Established a non-profit organization, Diamonds for Peace