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1,000 Days:
The Countdown
Has Begun


Artist’s rendition of the Youth Park Area

Preparations move steadily forward
A place for exchange on Nature’s Wisdom

Preparations move steadily forward

On June 29, just 1,000 days before the opening of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan, countdown billboards lit up in various places, and commemorative events were staged in Aichi and elsewhere. As the days tick down one by one, anticipation of the event is building up, and plans for the site itself are assuming concrete shape.

A matter of concern is the extent of foreign participation to be expected. China and Poland climbed on board in late August, and Vietnam signaled its intention to join in not long after that, bringing the official announcements of participation as of mid-October to 48 overseas countries and five international organizations. As this is a higher level of planned overseas participation than was recorded at the same point prior to Expo 70 Osaka, which turned out to be a smashing success, it would seem that all is proceeding well.

Preparations by the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition, which is in charge of management, are moving steadily forward. The basic structure of a producer system, which will guide preparations and operations, was assembled last spring. Names for the official mascots were picked on June 29 from over 80,000 entries to the mascot-naming competition; these are Morizo, the “Forest Grandfather,” and Kiccoro, the “Forest Child.” A report on the progress was delivered to the General Assembly of the BIE (International Exhibitions Bureau) in Paris on July 2. The presentation was made by Taizo Watanabe, the government’s Commissioner General of the Exhibition, and when he announced that Crown Prince Naruhito was to serve as Honorary President, the assembled national delegates gave him a round of applause.

The groundbreaking ceremony attended by Prime Minister Jun’ichiro Koizumi was held on October 17, and the first International Planning Meeting followed. It provided a good opportunity to explain the regulations and full-scale planning to more than 50 countries that have become or are thinking of becoming official participants (governments and international organizations).

A place for exchange on Nature's Wisdom

With its main theme of Nature’s Wisdom, Expo 2005 Aichi aims to foster a lively exchange among people the world over. The plans for the site were drawn up based on the same theme, and they will get fleshed out in the construction work now going on.

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spacer.gif Spreading the word at the earth summit
The United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 26 to September 4. Word of Expo 2005 Aichi was spread at the earth summit itself and also at the parallel events, including the Japan Pavilion in Ubuntu Village and the WaterDome, and many people showed interest.

Of note were the addresses delivered by former Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu and Senior Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Yoshihisa Ohshima at the Japan Pavilion on Japan Day, August 29, when they said they hoped that Aichi Prefecture would in 2005 become a place for the exchange of wisdom among people around the world. The stand at the WaterDome had displays of the exposition. On September 1 Public Relations Producer Mari Christine gave a presentation there in front of over 100 delegates and world water stakeholders from all over the world. When she announced that Expo 2005 Aichi was the first international exposition to have introduced environmental impact assessment, the people in attendance clapped loudly.
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The overall layout will follow the basic plan unveiled in December 2001, with a large Youth Park Area and a smaller Kaisho Area. Most of the attractions will be in the Youth Park Area, where structures will cover a total space of 17 hectares. Apart from the six Global Commons, there will be the Non-official Participants Exhibition Zone for domestic companies and others and the Japan Zone for Japanese government pavilions, the Greater Aichi Pavilion, and other buildings. Mention may also be made of the Central Zone, which will have the Global House, the Koi (Carp) Pond, the Aichi World Plaza, and other facilities designed to create a space where participants and visitors can have a good time. Connecting all this together will be the two-and-a-half-kilometer Global Loop, an elevated, barrier-free corridor circling the site. Constructed above the ground to minimize its environmental impact, it will be used for parades, street performances, and festivals, making it another focus of fun and entertainment.

The smaller Kaisho Area, where structures will occupy around 1.5 hectares, will be connected to the Youth Park Area by gondola and will function as a memorial site marking the origin of Expo 2005 Aichi. Within it will be the National Government/Aichi Prefecture Exhibition Zone, the Citizen Participation Zone, and the Satoyama Trail Zone.



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