Theme and Sub Themes


This is not a theme that we have chosen lightly. Lacking vast open spaces and abundant mineral resources, Japan has achieved its current economic development and prosperity through the diligence and ingenuity of its people. Yet in the process we have inadvertently sacrificed our human values on the altar of economic efficiency.

Only recently have we realized the enormity of our loss. Though pleased with our industrial growth and economic development, we realize that this was not the sum of our aspirations. We realize that we had hoped to fuse Asia's traditional wisdom with modern science and technology to create a better world where humankind and nature can co-exist in harmony.

Thus was this theme chosen-in regret at the mistakes of the past and in determination to make this dream come true. Nature is a vast font of wisdom, and nature's wisdom stretches from the simplest cell to the infinite reaches of space. This is the wisdom that has given rise to life and eventually ourselves on this planet. Indeed, the history of humankind has been one of learning from nature's wisdom. Humanity cannot live in isolation, and it is imperative that our lives be compatible with the rest of the global ecosystem.

It is thus increasingly imperative that we regain nature's wisdom and that our proud technological achievements incorporate this wisdom.

Rediscovering nature's wisdom, we must alter the relationship between humanity and technology as well as the social relations among people themselves. To fail in this can only further exacerbate the degradation of the global ecosystem and imperil our own and our planet's future.

Japan in particular is acutely aware of this imperative, for the contradictions of modern civilization are especially apparent in Japan.

Thus it is that Japan wants to host this grand experiment in eco-compatible living and offers this modest site as a global laboratory. If all of humankind will show their experiments for the future here, we should be able to devise answers to our shared concerns.

This effort encompasses everything that humanity needs in the 21st century.

We want to embark upon wide-ranging research here. We want to free technology from the unthinking pursuit of efficiency and economic rationality and from rigid social systemic constraints-to awaken the wisdom embedded in the technology and to enable technology to once again interact sensitively with life and nature. Technology is not inherently eco-destructive, and at its best it exists in a creatively complementary relationship with nature.

We hope to provide a number of paths at EXPO 2005 where people can interact imaginatively with the source of human inventiveness. This will be a place where young and old alike can rediscover the wonder of their own lives. This is, after all, a site alive with the spirit of the ancient arts, and this ancient tradition ensures that the new art of life arising from the marriage of technology and culture is already part of everyday life here. This is an inspiring experience for people of all ages, and it restores the fragile relationship between humanity and nature and the tenuous relationships among all people in the international community. This is the kind of wooded site we want to create here for now and the future.

Development of the theme

In order to promote wide-ranging participation from around the world and to develop the theme of the Exhibition, it will be divided into several sub-themes, as follows.

1. Nature's Matrix

To show directions for mankind in the 21st century, a new model for civilization in the space age is explored based on the latest achievements of space technology and the history of the Earth. New ways for resolving population and environmental problems are sought through cutting-edge experiments using bio and information technologies.

For example, exhibits may include real-time broadcasting from a space station, reproduction of extinct species by virtual reality techniques and new types of intercultural communications by means of new information technology.

Examples of theme realization

2. The Art of Life

Directions for new ways of life in which 21st Century humankind lives actively are proposed. The issues of aging society and the creativity of children are addressed. Through fine arts, performing arts and daily customs from around the world, various exchanges between people and nature are developed and ways to let the richness of nature and the force of life shine much are to be proposed.

For example, exhibits may include presentations of regional arts and customs associated with nature and life, introduction of lifestyles harmonized with nature, and presentation of a model society where the elderly live vibrantly and social and technical support provided therefor.

Examples of theme realization

3. Development for Eco-Communities

To demonstrate a model recycling society in the 21st century, new energy and new recycling technology are utilized. Ideal lifestyles and urban infrastructures are sought in which resources are used efficiently. The ideal balance between social development and environment is pursued and the restoration of environments is attempted.

For example, the exhibition site may be made from materials which consist of recycled PET bottles and timber with less impact on the environment. Exhibits may present new technologies in environmental industries, introduce examples of lifestyles and eco-community experiences in different parts of the world. Restoration of the eco-system around the site may also be attempted.

Examples of theme realization