100 THOUSAND SOLAR LANTERNS PROJECT Vol 7

Feature Story

New Solar Lantern Product Launch and Donation Ceremony in Myanmar

Panasonic aims to contribute to the progress and development of societies in developing and emerging countries through donating a total of 100,000 solar LED lanterns to people living in areas without electricity by 2018, the 100th anniversary of the company's founding. One of the key countries is in Myanmar. Read how Panasonic is active in contributing to the social development in Myanmar by making the solar lanterns available to the general public as well as providing donations.

  • View the report from our Panasonic News Portal Reporter Cathy in Yangon on the event

On November 29, 2013, Panasonic Asia Pacific held a press conference to announce the launch of its new Solar Lantern model (BG-BL03) to the Burmese market. Aiming to provide off-grid energy solutions to areas with limited electricity in Myanmar, the new Panasonic Solar Lantern launched, can create; store and utilize solar energy effectively. In conjunction with this, as the first activity of the 100 Thousand Solar LED Lanterns Project in this fiscal year, a total of 2,000 Solar Lanterns were donated to five NPOs and NGOs, which contribute to solving social problems in Myanmar, and a ceremony was held to commemorate this at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar.

To kick off the event, Hisakazu Maeda, Chief Representative of Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Myanmar Branch, explained Panasonic's business development in Myanmar and described the necessity of Solar Lanterns in Myanmar by sharing his experience of staying in a village without electricity.

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    Hisakazu Maeda, Chief Representative of Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Myanmar Branch

"Compared to other South East Asian countries, electrification rate in Myanmar is very low. Many still rely on kerosene lamps for light be it for education or healthcare purposes. Kerosene lamps pose as fire hazards and contribute to health problems, emitting toxic fumes. The Solar Lantern was designed and developed to address these societal gaps in developing countries like Myanmar. Today's product launch symbolizes Panasonic's new brand promise to provide A Better Life, A Better World for people all around the world."

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    Solar Lanterns Revealed to the Audience
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    Nobuto Nakanishi, Deputy Director of the Energy Product Division of Panasonic Siews Sales Thailand Co., Ltd.

Then, Nobuto Nakanishi, Deputy Director in charge of the Solar Lanterns for the ASEAN region provided a detailed explanation of the new Solar Lantern. Under fine weather conditions, the Solar Lantern is fully rechargeable in approximately six hours. Through the use of sunlight, it contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emission. The lantern's adjustable brightness setting allows it to run between six to 90 hours1 when fully charged. Its 360-degree illumination and flexible design makes it practical and convenient for everyday use. The multi-functional product has a USB port which allows for charging of mobile phones, an increasingly popular communication device in areas with limited electrical infrastructure.

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    Michiko Ogawa, General Manager of CSR & Citizenship Group

Extending its CSR efforts, Panasonic will donate 2,000 Solar Lanterns to five social institutions - Myanmar Red Cross Society, Japan Heart, Bridge Asia Japan, Greater Mekong Initiative and Saetanar. The initiative is certified as a project of the 40th year ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, and falls under Panasonic's global 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project. At the launch, Michiko Ogawa, General Manager of CSR & Citizenship Group, Panasonic Corporation, gave a presentation on the 100 Thousand Solar LED Lanterns Project and its implementation in Myanmar. She reported that the 3,000 compact solar lights2 donated to four organizations in Myanmar in February this year have been effectively utilized in the fields of education, medicine, etc. Both donations are part of the global project whose goal is to donate a total of 100,000 Solar Lanterns through local social institutions including non-profit and non-governmental organizations to non-electrified areas in Asian and African regions by 2018 and ensure proper lighting in homes and buildings.

Panasonic aims to contribute actively to the well-being of the people of Myanmar through both its business and corporate citizenship activities.

1.) A fully charged Solar Lantern can run for approximately 6 hours on HIGH setting, about 15 hours on MEDIUM setting and roughly 90 hours on LOW setting. 2.) In 2012, the first year of the global 100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project, Panasonic donated Compact Solar Lights, instead of Solar Lanterns. The Compact Solar Light has an LED light and a solar panel integrated in one unit and is rechargeable via a USB port. (Sold only in Japan)

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