|Back Number||No.05 2004/12/22|
|News||EXPO Events Announced|
|Pavilions : EXPO Plaza|
|Interview||Jean-Christian OBAME (Gabon)
Ambassador of the Gabonese Republic in Japan
Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee for Expo 2005 Aichi,
African Diplomatic Corps in Tokyo
|Column||Special Feature on Aichi Prefecture, the EXPO Venue|
Many colorful events will be held at EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan to act as pillars - together with the pavilions - to express the EXPO’s theme, “Nature’s Wisdom.”
The events include official ceremonies such as the pre-Expo reception, the opening ceremony and closing ceremony, to which guests from Japan and abroad will be invited; official events, including National Days, Special Days, Local Government Days, and Pavilion Days; events organized by the EXPO 2005 Association designed to realize the theme and concepts of EXPO 2005; and EXPO participation events, which are programs in a wide variety fields that include those selected through a call for public participation, that will have a large number of people participating. Events will be held every day during the duration of EXPO 2005 at various locations such as the EXPO Dome and EXPO Hall.
From the many events being planned, the event organized by the EXPO 2005 Association, “Global Harmony Concert;” a portion of the content of “HARMONY,” a new cultural creation event; and the participating groups and schedule of the EXPO participation events were announced on December 2.
The Global Harmony Concert uses music as the medium for bringing about a wealth of communication with people of the world. It is a program being held to create a new circle of global intercultural exchange, born through the many encounters and feelings of affinity through the concert. It consists of the three programs below, all to be held at the EXPO Dome.
In “Prayers to the World,” (to be held on April 17 and 18, 2005), sacred music from the world’s three major religions - Buddhism, Christianity and Islamism - will gather, with not only individual performances being made by each group but also a finale in which all the performers will come together in a joint performance. It will embody the theme of the event, “Know the World through Music. Contemplate Peace through Prayer.”
In “Pop Goes Around,” subtitled “Let’s Have Fun with Pops with an Orchestra!”(scheduled for June 25 and 26, 2005), the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra will perform numerous pop tunes born from classical pieces as well as movie themes, which will all be introduced in a fun way. This blissful 80-minute event will be like playing with an orchestra through music.
In “EXPO Special Revue Amour Takarazuka: Love Goes around the World” (scheduled for July 13 and 14, 2005), former Takarazuka Revue Company stars will sing, dance and recreate famous scenes from Broadway musicals and Takarazuka shows in a glamorous stage performance. Takarazuka is a uniquely Japanese all-girls opera company in which women play even the parts of men. This Japanese performing art will be introduced to the world from the EXPO venue.
The new cultural creation event “HARMONY” (scheduled between May 1 and 8 at EXPO Hall) is a musical fantasy based on a script written for EXPO 2005 by a Japanese writer and staged by Canada’s TDC, a puppet company. The TDC is a world-renowned theatrical troupe that creates a world of dreams through performances that involve originally created giant puppets that perform alongside humans. The story is about the efforts of the main character, a young boy named Doctor Shin, his assistant Aki and a dalmatian pelican called Koh, who travel around the world in order to cure the Earth’s diseases and relieve its pain, such as global warming. Puppets will also be placed in the audience, and staging in which the performers and audience become one is planned.
The content of the EXPO participation events is of various types including concerts, shows and lectures. They are also in a diverse range of genres such as music, dance, stage performance, movies and images, and art. This time, 71 groups selected to participate out of a total of 260 applicants were announced along with their schedules. About 20 more groups are scheduled to be announced after dates, etc. are adjusted.
Although not announced this time, Japan Day is scheduled to take place as an official event on June 6, with June 6 to 12 as Japan Week. Ceremonies welcoming visitors from Japan and overseas as well as events will be held by the Japanese government as host nation. Under the direction of Sadao Watanabe, general producer of the Japan Pavilions, the song “Share the World” will be performed to increase exchange between the children of the world. Japan’s wonderful culture, traditions, arts, etc. will be appealed to the world. Future announcements regarding the details are something to keep an eye out for.
The EXPO Plaza is an open-air stage that will feature cutting-edge information and digital imaging technologies to link visitors to EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan and people around the world. A variety of events to be held at the EXPO Plaza will enable people to come directly in contact with people and cultures of the world to bring about a Grand Intercultural Symphony.
The plaza is located in the Nagakute Area’s Central Zone, which is surrounded by the Global Loop elevated corridor. Situated very close to the North Gate - the main entrance to the EXPO - it will be visible upon entrance to most visitors. The EXPO Plaza is roughly 14,000 square meters in size, and 3,000 people will be able to seat themselves on the grass in the center. Restaurants and food courts serving dishes from around the world can be found adjacent to the plaza, so visitors will be able to enjoy special events and video programs taking place at the plaza while enjoying a meal.
The Bio-lung, which is a 150-meter wide vertical wall of plants, will tower in front of the plaza. An illumination show of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) reflected upon mist spurting from the wall will be unfolded during the EXPO.
There will be a stage set up in front of the Bio-lung, behind which will be EXPO Vision, a large screen that is 20 meters wide and 8 meters high. With a screen size of 840 inches, it will be one of the largest outdoor monitors in Japan.
A variety of special events, such as the National Day events of officially participating countries, events held by local public organizations, etc. will be held on the stage. The Forest Fairy’s Ball, a show produced by Tatsuya Ishii, a famous Japanese creative artist featuring cute costumed fairies, will be performed every day in the early evening.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy artistic videos by young Japanese video creators shown on the EXPO Vision.
The theme of the plaza is “The World is One.” Content symbolizing this message is the Merry EXPO. With “Smiles are transnational and the best way to communicate,” as the password, the smiling faces of roughly 5,000 people photographed in over 20 countries across five continents and their written messages will be shown on the EXPO Vision. Visitors to EXPO 2005 will also be able to send smiling photographs of themselves, their families, etc. along with messages from their mobile phones, which will be shown on the large screen before them. Furthermore, the “My paper from merry,” a one and only commemorative newspaper customized to include the individual smiling pictures and messages shown on the EXPO Vision, will be distributed.
A diverse range of other visual programs will be shown every day from opening to closing hours during the duration of the EXPO. It includes footage of nature alongside messages from boys and girls from around the world, messages to EXPO 2005 from notable figures active on the world stage, videos themed on the environment and interaction produced by elementary and middle school students of the world, and “The Animals’ Promise,” a musical fantasy about protecting the Earth featuring animals as main characters.
The EXPO Plaza Scope will be set up a corner overlooking the plaza. It is a device for experiencing futuristic technology. Using pre-installed 3D footage, the virtual will be shown against real scenes in the background. People who look into the scope will see unbelievable scenes unfolding before their very eyes, such as a giant mammoth walking around the people actually in the plaza, or a whale surfacing in the pond and blowing water.
A satellite studio will also be set up from which various programs will be broadcast with this plaza as the backdrop. The EXPO Plaza will become the site from which messages to the world will be transmitted.
Come and visit EXPO Plaza and experience the Grand Intercultural Symphony.
I think we have to consider that the participation of African nations in EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan and subsequently the exposure of Africans to other people of the world are by themselves very important facts. This is because EXPO 2005 will provide Africa with the unique opportunity to share with the rest of the world its rich cultural heritage and to present its exceptional flora and fauna, which are potentially suitable for ecotourism. It should also be emphasized that with the world’s second largest forested region after the Amazon rainforest of South America, Africa is the second “lung” of the world. With the perceived risks of global warming facing our planet, the whole of humanity in this 21st century has to devote special attention to the protection of the fragile ecosystems in the world and especially in Africa. That is why “Nature’s Matrix,” one of the EXPO’s sub-themes, is very important for our continent.
In fact, Africa will come to the EXPO to share its experience of living in harmony with nature, which has deeply influenced its cultural values. Africa will also come to EXPO 2005 with the ambition of sharing with the rest of the world the way its people are now willing to promote sustainable development without destroying the environment and “Mother Nature” itself, which have always been so generous to them. The fact that African people have known for centuries the secrets of plants and how to use them for curing diseases is one good example to be shared with others during the EXPO. It is definitively in this context and spirit that my own country, Gabon, now engaged in the protection of its unique biodiversity by devoting 10% of its territory for the creation of 13 national parks, will participate in Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan.
The Japanese experience of living in harmony with nature, as reflected by the fascinating Japanese gardens and parks all over the country, needs also to be shared with other people of the world. One could say that Japan has set an example for other countries in showing that industrialization and advanced technology should not be made at the expense of cultural heritage and respect of the environment.
Indeed, EXPO 2005 should raise the awareness that over the past century, we have destroyed nature as a result of our industrial development. It should therefore be reiterated that the world is facing today a point where, if the current trend continues, the survival of our common planet earth could be seriously compromised. That is why, for instance, the issue of the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by all countries should be brought up very strongly during Expo 2005.
Our expectation is that with EXPO 2005 being held in a country where the development of information technology is well advanced, such high technology will help to promote further communication between people of the world. This is because communication brings understanding, and understanding brings peace.
In conclusion, EXPO 2005 can be said to be a give-and-take event for exchanging and sharing information so that we may reshape the way of life in the 21st century and for the generations to come.
Aichi Prefecture, the venue of EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan is currently linked by direct flights to 26 cities around the world. Chubu Centrair International Airport, an airport based within the area of Japan’s third largest metropolis, will be opening in February 2005. The aerial network linking Aichi Prefecture to cities in Japan and abroad will develop dramatically through the opening of the new airport.
Aichi Prefecture is located approximately at the center of the Japanese archipelago. From Tokyo, it takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to go to Nagoya by bullet train, and 50 minutes from Osaka. The Nagoya area, centering on the prefectural capital Nagoya City, forms one of Japan’s three major metropolitan areas alongside the Tokyo area and Osaka area. It is one of the driving forces of the Japanese economic powerhouse. The GDP of the Nagoya area accounts for approximately 1 percent of the world GDP.
Aichi’s prefectural gross product, for comparison’s sake, is the third largest in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka. The value of shipments of manufactured products has continually been the highest in Japan since 1977. The headquarters of world-known Toyota Motor Corporation is located in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.
There is a wide range of manufacturing functions besides automobile manufacturing concentrated in Aichi Prefecture. It includes the aerospace industry, in which Aichi has roughly a 40 percent share of the domestic market, as well as machine tools and textiles.
As an area where lumber accumulated, wood processing prospered since olden times throughout the entire prefecture. With this as a foundation, automata (clockwork dolls and tools that move automatically through a mechanism using spiral springs, springs, gears, mercury, sand, water, etc.) developed in Aichi. It is said that this is the basis of its machine industry today.
Aichi Prefecture is also one of Japan’s leading production centers for ceramic ware. Known under the name Seto ware, Seto ceramics is a traditional industry that has its roots in the early part of the 13th century. Recently, manufacturers have been advancing into the fields such as fine ceramics, and they are striving to achieve leading and advanced technology. Superior fine ceramic technology is not only applied to the optic fiber used in optical and laser communication but in recent years also used in the manufacture of musical instruments such as violins. It is a field that is attracting much attention.
The wisdom of traditional handicrafts born out of a dialogue with nature, the integration of advanced technology and traditional craftsmanship... the theme of EXPO 2005 can already be found within Aichi Prefecture, the EXPO’s venue.
Seto ware advanced overseas triggered by its being exhibited at the Vienna World Exposition of 1873. The home of Seto ware will now be welcoming guests from the world as the Seto Area venue of EXPO 2005.
|EXPO 2005 AICHI, JAPAN Newsletter|
|To read past issues:Back Number|
|Editor/Publisher: Japan Association for
the 2005 World Exposition
1533-1 Ibaragabasama, Nagakute-cho
Aichi 480-1101 Japan
Nagoya Daiya II Bldg 4F, 3-15-1 Meieki
Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002 Japan
Iino Bldg 8F, 2-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011 Japan