Rio Tinto and Komatsu celebrate joint scholarship programme at Tohoku University with recipients

07 November 2017

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh co-hosted a breakfast with Komatsu chairman Kunio Noji to celebrate the successful scholarship programme jointly created by the two companies for students attending Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.

The scholarship was established immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami hit the Tohoku region in March 2011. The decade-long programme supports 33 students each year who would not have been able to continue their studies after the disaster due to financial constraints.

Mr Walsh said "This is a great initiative to further students’ education and one that Rio Tinto is proud to support with Komatsu. It was great to hear directly from students about the benefits of the programme."

Mr Walsh and Mr Noji also met with President Satomi of Tohoku University to reaffirm the partnership with the university and discuss the relief and construction efforts in the Tohoku region.

Last night, Mr Walsh and Executive Committee members of Rio Tinto hosted a special event with members of the Tohoku community to gain a first-hand insight into the reconstruction efforts.

Mr Walsh also toured the Miyagi Reconstruction Park in Tagajo to see the new industries being created in the region. He also visited Hiyori-yama where Mr Walsh offered flowers in remembrance of the victims.

"It’s been three and a half years since the disaster hit the east Japan region and we know the road ahead is still a long one for the community of Tohoku. Rio Tinto has a longstanding relationship with Japan and we are proud to be its largest supplier of raw materials. I would like to take this opportunity to show our support for the survivors of the 2011 tragedy and reassure them that they are not forgotten," Mr Walsh said.


Notes for editors:

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe, and southern Africa.

About Rio Tinto and Japan

Japan is one of Rio Tinto’s most important and longstanding trading partners. Rio Tinto’s iron ore business was born on the back of Japanese investment and long-term offtake contracts with the Japanese steel mills in the 1960’s. Today Rio Tinto is the largest supplier of iron ore to Japan, shipping over 1.6 billion tonnes to date over the past nearly 50 years.

Rio Tinto, as a group, is also the largest exporter of metals and minerals to Japan, supplying aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium and industrial minerals (titanium dioxide and salt) as well as iron ore to more than 100 customers. Japanese companies are important partners in Rio Tinto’s operations around the world, its global supply chain as well as in innovation.