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At VIVISTOP, located in Kashiwanoha in Chiba Prefecture, a new community is emerging. The top picture shows stop-motion animation produced by children. Photo:Mistletoe

At VIVISTOP, located in Kashiwanoha in Chiba Prefecture, many children, mostly of elementary school age, immerse themselves in creative activities every day.

Among them is a pair of sisters who are creating stop-motion animation. They make models of dolls and houses, position them, and take photos with their smartphones until they have a finished work in which the dolls seem to be moving. Their skill would put professional animators to shame. When they make a doll knead pizza dough, for example, its hand movements look remarkably smooth.

Inspired by their work, another child announced that they would use a model train kit to create a pulley for the sisters’ camera. Because the children were working in the same space, they inspire each other and come up with new ideas.

These days, more and more children are uploading videos to YouTube. If the sisters uploaded their videos, no doubt many people would be astounded by their work. In the future, the number of special effects videos made by children will only increase. Some children will even be able to earn advertising income as YouTubers.

Another child shared with me plans to start a company in order to commercialize something that will benefit other people. The child asked, “What do you think, Mr. President?” I said, “Let’s do it!” And today, we’re actually moving towards commercializing that child’s idea.

The children at VIVISTOP don’t limit themselves to just manufacturing. Some of them have started researching how they could purify the water of the pond near the VIVISTOP facility. To be honest, I never expected to see this level of creative activity. It has really exceeded my expectations.