About JORC

About JORC

About JORC’s background of the establishment and goals

Japan Orangutan Research Center (JORC) is an NPO led by experienced ex-zookeepers and researchers that was established in 2016. The roots of the organization’s establishment can be traced back to 2004, when the NPO directors, who were graduate students at that time, established a wild orangutan research site in Malaysia’s Danum Valley Conservation Area. After that, researchers and zookeepers interacted with each other to share information and agreed to “do something immediately” for the critically endangered wild animal overseas and domestic captive animals. This group has gradually expanded and have created a place for people specialized in orangutans as well as for those with strong passion to do something for the orangutans. This NPO consists of four approaches to promote orangutan’s attractiveness and their latest situations.

About JORC’s establishment and its goal

About the Organization

Type of Organization Non-Profit Organization
Name of the Organization Japan Orangutan Research Center(JORC)
Danum Valley Project
Name of the representative Tomoko Kanamori
Established in 7th of June 2019
Location Chiaki Dental Clinic, 4-5-1-2A Eifuku, Suginami-ward, Tokyo, Japan

Company History

  • 2004

    Established Orangutan research site in Danum Valley Conservation Area.

  • 2016

    Japan Orangutan Research Center (Voluntary Organization) kicked off.

  • 2016~2018

    Conducting research while launching crowdfundings campaigns and lectures.

  • 2019

    NPO Japan Orangutan Research Center (JORC) was established.

Message from the Representative

Representative: Dr. Tomoko Kanamori

Thank you for visiting our website! Japan Orangutan Research Center (JORC) started as a voluntary organization in 2016 and with everyone’s hard work and effort, we were approved as a non-profit organization on June 7, 2019. We would like to express our gratitude once again to all those who have supported us. Our goal is to protect the future of orangutans by spreading words about their endangered situation such as via deforestation and to spread interest and understanding for orangutans. Why not join us in thinking, learning, and supporting the orangutans to protect their future.

Representative: Dr. Tomoko Kanamori

Born in Toyama Prefecture. Obtained Ph.D. (Science) from Tokyo Institute of Technology School of Bioscience and Biotechnology. Working as a part-time researcher in the Department of Ecology and Conservation in Primate Researcher Institute, Kyoto University. In 2004, began research on wild orangutans at Danum Valley Conservation Area, Malaysia (on-going).


Deputy Representative: Dr. Takumi Tsutaya

Born in Tokyo. Ph.D. in Life Science at Department of Integrated Biosciences, the University of Tokyo. Current position (Department of Evolutionary Studies of Biosystems, Graduate University for Advanced Studies) since 2020, after postdocs at Kyoto University and Japan Agency of Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Studying wild orangutans in Danum Valley Conservation Area since 2016.

Deputy Representative
Board of Director: Dr. Tomoyuki Tajima

Born in Tokyo. Obtained Ph.D. (Science) from Kyoto University Graduate School of Science. Worked as a researcher at Kyoto University Graduate School of Science. Currently working as an Assistant Professor at Kyoto University Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space. Began research at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Sabah, Malaysia from 2009. Since 2011, began researching on wild orangutans in Danum Valley Conservation Area in Malaysia (on-going).

Board of Director: Tomoyuki Tajima
Board of Director: Dr. Noko Kuze

Born in Tokyo. Obtained a PhD degree (Doctor of Science) in Graduate School of Life Science and Technology Department, Tokyo Institute of technologyAfter having worked as a researcher for Kyoto University Graduate School of Science, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University and Department of Anthoropology in the National Museum of Nature and Science as a Researcher.

From 2020, she is working at ”Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center(OECC)" as an environmental consultant. From 2005 to 2020, she studied wild orangutans in Danum Valley Conservation Area.

Board of Director: Noko Kuze
Board of Director: Kurotori Hidetoshi

Born in Hokkaido. Graduated from the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ibaraki University and proceeded to Chiba University Graduate school for furthering his studies. Since 1978, he has worked in the Keeper Division at Ueno Zoo, Tokyo. He oversaw gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees at Ueno and Tama Zoo, as a charismatic zookeeper for great apes. From 2007, he worked on wild animal conversation as a director at NPO Borneo Conversation Trust Japan. From 2010, he became a curator at Ueno Zoo in charge of marketing and awareness as well as began zoo orangutan research at Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University. In 2015, left work at the zoo and from 2016, he continues his research as a joint researcher at the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University as well as becoming the representative of JORC to conserve apes in diverse forms and also acts as lecturer in various universities and vocational schools.

Board of Director: Noko Kuze
Director and Chairman: Dr. Chiaki Nakamura

Born in Tokyo. Dentist, graduated from the Nippon Dental University. After working in the Oral Surgery Department of the Nippon Dental University Hospital, opened Chiaki Dental Clinic. While as a director/practicing dentist, began researching comparative pathology as a guest lecturer at the Department of Pathology, Nippon Dental University from 2018. By collaborating with human medical care, Nakamura seeks to help the orangutans that are in the zoo to live longer and healthier.

Director and Chairman: Chiaki Nakamura
Board of Director: Kanako Kawashima

Accountant. Born in Nara Prefecture. In 2011, she met Sumatran orangutans at the Higashiyama Zoo in Nagoya, and discovered the fascination of orangutans. In addition to her main job as a general salesperson, she has continued her personal activities to learn about the current status of Sumatran orangutans by visiting their habitat and visiting local NGOs, and has been involved in the operation of JORC as an accountant and administrative staff member since 2016. She writes about orangutans in zoos and local information on Sumatra on her personal blog.

Director and Chairman: Chiaki Nakamura
Auditor Mika Shimizu

Born in Hyogo Prefecture. Graduated from Azabu University. Worked at Tama Zoological Park since 2005. After breeding general insects, Malay bears, Père David's Deer, and civets, she has been in charge of orangutans, white-handed(lar)gibbons and chimpanzees etc. Retired in 2019.


  • Masami NasuPR

  • Koki NaitouPR

  • Tomoya KounosuIn charge of Sumatra Island affairs

  • Kazumi TsujimotoZoo


  • erca
  • keidanren
  • tokyo-zoo.net
  • aeon
  • The Japan Trust for Global Environment
  • Public Interest Trust Taisei Corporation Nature, History and
Environment Fund Grants
  • About Orangutans
    About Orangutans
  • Conservation of orangutans
    Conservation of orangutans
  • Achievements