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At a glance: Japan

Japan promotes Global Handwashing Day for better hygiene

© UNICEF Japan/2009
Renowned Japanese performer Kaiji Moriyama has choreographed a dance to teach children in Japan and around the world the principles of good handwashing.

By Ayako Uragami

TOKYO, Japan, 15 October 2009 – Today, millions of children and adults in over 80 countries are marking the second annual Global Handwashing Day with special events and activities. As part of this effort, the Japan Committee for UNICEF and its partners have launched a project to promote handwashing among children in Japan and around the world.

VIDEO: Watch now

Handwashing with soap is an effective way to prevent the spread of diseases and illnesses such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and the H1N1 infuenza virus. It is one of the most affordable and effective interventions to prevent needless deaths of children under the age of five.

The Japan Committee for UNICEF initiative has two objectives: to promote proper handwashing and to raise awareness about the problem of children dying of preventable diseases.

Handwashing dance

As part of this effort, the renowned Japanese dancer Kaiji Moriyama has choreographed a dance for a public service announcement designed to teach children the principles of good handwashing.

The dance shows children how – in just 20 seconds – they can properly wash their palms, nails, fingers and wrists. The dance has almost no verbal instruction, but, by simply following the steps, children learn proper handwashing while also having fun.

Click here to watch a video of the global handwashing dance.

A global movement

Children from Cambodia, China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar and Timor-Leste participated in a second video spot that is being shown on digital billboards in Japan.

By featuring these children from across the globe, the spot illustrates how handwashing with soap has become a worldwide movement. It is hoped that the video will foster a sense of camaraderie among children in different countries and regions.

Click here to watch the handwashing video featuring children from many nations.

Corporate and media support

The Global Handwashing Day promotion project in Japan is being supported by many corporate partners, including Kao, Kenei Pharmaceutical Co., The Lion Corporation, Oji Nepia, SARAYA and Unilever.

Several handwashing-oriented media events are also planned for today at kindergartens, amusement parks and elementary schools in Japan. The events will be broadcast throughout the country to further raise awareness about the importance of handwashing.. 




Watch the 'Global Handwashing Dance' public service announcement, choreographed and performed by Kaiji Moriyama to promote improved hygiene for children in Japan and worldwide.
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