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Luminous ceramics made in Fukushima help save lives during Thai cave rescue

Donated by CEO to guide rescuers in the dark


Luna Ware, produced in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture, was instrumental to the rescue of twelve boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand in July 2018.

Water-resistant ceramics cast bright, long-lasting light

Luna Ware is a water-resistant luminous ceramic material developed by Codomo Energy Co., Ltd., headquartered in Osaka. Without requiring electricity, Luna Ware casts a bright light for more than 12 hours.

Luna Ware is used in many public places, including station platforms

When news of the soccer team’s plight first reached him, Codomo Energy CEO Yasunori Iwamoto happened to be visiting Thailand with the Mayor of Kawauchi Village, Mr. Yukou Endo, for top-level sales discussions. Mr. Iwamoto immediately rushed to procure 600 units of Luna Ware for the local headquarters to donate to rescue efforts. The luminous ceramics were instrumental in the underwater rescue operation, where electricity was both impossible and dangerous to use, and helped rescue teams save the lives of all 12 boys and their coach.

Underwater rescue operation

A beacon of hope for new life

These luminous ceramics are produced in Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture. Following the devastation of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, approximately 3,000 residents were forced to evacuate from the village. Today, about 80% have returned and resumed their daily lives. Local industry received a significant boost in 2014, when Mr. Iwamoto chose Kawauchi as the site for Codomo Energy’s Luna Ware factory. “Luna Ware is a radiant luminous ceramic that can be used without a power source. I want it to be seen as a symbol of reconstruction. It’s fitting that Luna Ware products, which are extremely useful during disasters, are now sent from Kawauchi Village, which has actually experienced such a disaster.”

Codomo Energy factory

Bond with Thailand

Even before the cave rescue, a strong connection has linked Codomo Energy, Kawauchi Village and Thailand together. In November 2016, Japan’s first branch of Cafe Amazon, the largest coffee shop chain in Thailand, opened in Kawauchi Village. This was the result of Mr. Iwamoto’s close cooperation with the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT), who operate Cafe Amazon, to support reconstruction efforts. Mr. Iwamoto has played an important role as a bridge connecting Fukushima and Thailand.

Thai coffee shop franchise’s first Japan store opened in Kawauchi

Towards further development

Mr. Yasunori Iwamoto, CEO of Codomo Energy Co., Ltd., played a part in the rescue

Mr. Iwamoto spoke about his vision for the area and efforts to encourage further growth: “I have big dreams to increase exchange and further develop Kawauchi. Cafe Amazon is now a hub for the local community, but I think the village needs an academy to help the business expand nationwide. I’m committed to supporting the sustainable development of Kawauchi through different types of businesses, including exchange with Thailand.”

Related Information

Last updated:2018-12-19