For Immediate Release20111109_01

The Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation (SABRE) awards recognize PR campaigns of outstanding merit selected by the esteemed global PR industry news provider, the Holmes Group.

The winning campaign, undertaken for Joban Kosan Co., Ltd., operator of Spa Resort Hawaiians, was entitled “Dancing from Disaster: Road to Recovery from Fukushima.”

The campaign was created to promote the famous hotel resort in Fukushima prefecture that was closed following the earthquake and tsunami. Although the dancers themselves were affected by the nuclear disaster just north of the resort, they embarked on a nationwide hula dance tour to raise the spirits of disaster-stricken residents and company employees temporarily out of work, while taking the lead to help support the local economy.

The project was conducted solely in Japan but its universal value struck a sympathetic chord with people worldwide, garnering widespread coverage in the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph and more.

The Asia-Pacific SABRE awards, launched in their present form in 2009, have fast become one of the region’s most highly regarded awards. This year’s competition, the second to be held, attracted some 580 entries – including 14 from Japan – each vying for honors in 34 categories.

These awards actually began in 1989 as the CIPRA Awards (recognizing Creativity in Public Relations) and later changed to SABRE. The EMEA SABRE Awards (Europe-Middle East-Africa) competition, started in 2005, now attracts 1,800 entries in North America and 1,200 entries annually from 25 countries, making it the most important award in the communications industry.

Commenting on the accolade awarded “Dancing from Disaster,” Dentsu PR president and CEO Takehiko Chikami said it was a great honor to receive the award to mark the 50th anniversary of the agency’s founding. “I hope we can take on other projects with significance for society in the future,” he added.

Dentsu PR previously won a SABRE award in 2009 for its “Turn the page: Redefining the paper dictionary” campaign conducted for Iwanami Shoten, Publishers.

Tokyo, November 8, 2011— A media relations campaign created by Dentsu Public Relations Inc. celebrating the determination of Fukushima residents to recover from Japan’s devastating March 11 earthquake has won a ‘2011 Asia-Pacific SABRE Award’ for best campaign in the CSR category.


About the Campaign

Campaign title: Dancing from Disaster: Road to Recovery from Fukushima

Among the casualties of the largest recorded earthquake in Japanese history and the subsequent catastrophic tsunami was Spa Resort Hawaiians. For decades a favorite leisure destination for Japanese of all ages, the resort in Fukushima Prefecture’s Iwaki City is just 50 km south of the crippled Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Created in 1965 to revitalize Iwaki by Joban Kosan after the closure of the coal mine, the Hawaii-themed hot spring resort came to exemplify for Japanese what small communities can achieve when facing crisis. In recent years visitor numbers topped 1.5 million annually. Of all the resort’s attractions, the ‘hula dance’ performance was by far the most famous, and popular.

In an aftershock from the March 11 earthquake, the resort itself was damaged and forced to close for repairs, affecting thousands of local employees, service providers and suppliers. The share price of resort owner Joban Kosan tumbled. On a wider social level, the nuclear fallout badly tainted the reputations of Iwaki City and Fukushima.

Dentsu PR devised a CSR campaign leveraging the resort’s famous hula dancers that symbolized the determination of Spa Resort Hawaiians and Iwaki City to recover from the disaster. The campaign, still in progress, has already created considerable media buzz with around 30 performances (at the time of writing, 100 total planned), greatly cheered the depressed inhabitants of Fukushima including the resort’s employees, and won considerable praise from the client.

For more information about this year’s Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards including entry categories, please visit


About Dentsu Public Relations Inc.

Dentsu Public Relations Inc., a pioneer in the field in Japan, has been helping Japanese and foreign clients communicate with their critical stakeholders – namely consumers, governments, investors, employees and communities – for 50 years since its inauguration in 1961. Providing a comprehensive range of communication services, Dentsu PR is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. Dentsu PR is headquartered in Tokyo with a branch in Osaka and is ISO 14001:2004 and ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certified. For more information on Dentsu Public Relations Inc., please visit