The Azerbaijan State News Agency

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17th humanitarian mission of Japanese Fuji Optical to Azerbaijan completed

Baku, June 4, AZERTAC

With the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representation in Azerbaijan and the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Affairs, the 17th vision aid mission of the Japanese Fuji Optical Co. Ltd to Azerbaijan has been completed. The mission is led by Dr. Akio Kanai, an Optometry Doctor and the winner of the 2006 Nansen Refugee Award, who is the owner of the Fuji Optical co. Ltd.

The humanitarian mission, which began early last week on 28 May 2024, was held for three days in the Guzanli settlement of the Aghdam district and for three days in a settlement with 866 apartments in the Barda district, lasting a total of six days. During this mission, nearly than 3,250 internally displaced persons and individuals from other vulnerable groups were examined by Japanese optometry specialists, more than 3,000 high-quality eyeglasses were distributed, and it was decided to prepare special eyeglasses for 150 people in Japan to be delivered to the beneficiaries in a couple of months.

Since 2005, a team of six optometry specialists from the Japanese Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. has been conducting free eye examinations and distributing high-quality optical glasses in areas densely populated by internally displaced persons. Through the UN Refugee Agency, the company has donated more than 70,000 pairs of glasses to Azerbaijan, which have primarily been distributed to internally displaced persons. The total value of glasses and hearing aids donated to Azerbaijan so far exceeds 2.7 million USD. This includes 74,733 pairs of glasses, 695 intraocular lenses, and 612 hearing aids.

From 2005 to the present, "Fuji Optical" has carried out 16 successful missions to improve vision in Azerbaijan and continued its support by donating vision and hearing aid items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this year marks the 20th anniversary of "Fuji Optical" company’s humanitarian support to Azerbaijan under the leadership of Dr. Akio Kanai.

Since 1984, the company has been taking practical steps to improve the vision of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide. Dr. Kanai’s notable contributions were recognized with the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award in 2006. The 100,000 USD prize money from the 2006 Nansen Refugee Award was donated by Dr. Akio Kanai to the UNHCR, which funded a water supply improvement project for the IDP community from Khojavend temporarily settled in the Beylagan district. Furthermore, the prestigious “Yomiuri Shinbun International Cooperation” award in the amount of 5 million Yen (approximately 44 thousand USD) given to Dr. Akio Kanai by the Japanese Yomiuri Newspaper was donated by him to the Azerbaijani Social Development Fund for IDPs in 2018. The donation was spent to purchase agricultural machinery to be used by the IDPs who returned to the Jojug Marjanli village of the Jabrayil district.

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