Back Number No.06 2005/01/05
News Hybrid Communicator to Be Utilized at EXPO 2005
Pavilions : GAS PAVILION
Interview Ole Philipson (Denmark)
President, International Council of EXPO 2005
Column Official Mascots: Morizo and Kiccoro


Hybrid Communicator to Be Utilized at EXPO 2005
EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan will be making pioneering efforts to incorporate 21st century telecommunications technology at every turn.

First of all, the admission ticket is embedded with a 0.4mm square micro IC chip. Each ticket has a unique ID code that can be read by simply placing it over a reader. The adoption of the IC chip makes it possible not only to identify the ticket type but also to provide diverse services to visitors.

Meanwhile, the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition announced on December 8 the use of AI-MATE, a hybrid communicator that brings together the capabilities of a mobile phone and a PDA. It is a communication tool of the near future.

There will be two types of AI-MATE terminals: AI-MATE Orange and AI-MATE Blue. They are 15.5cm long, 6.7cm wide and 2.5cm thick, with a weight of about 200 grams. The terminals have a 2.8inch liquid crystal display and are slightly larger than the usual mobile phone. 3,800 AI-MATE Orange terminals and 1,200 Blue terminals will be in use at the EXPO. Both types are equipped with Microsoft Windows® operating system as its basic application.

AI-MATE Orange will be available for the disabled and non-Japanese visitors to the Japan Pavilions. The wireless LAN function equipped in the terminal will detect the location of the visitor and provide voice and written messages (in Japanese or English) as well as visual information regarding the exhibits, etc. that is appropriate to the location so as to provide assistance that will make a visit more convenient and interesting. Furthermore, AI-MATE Orange will provide operational support to pavilion attendants and staff. They will be able to use not only its phone or E-mail functions but also the full browser function to view Internet websites to access information. Attendants and staff will also be able to obtain real-time information on congestion at specific pavilions or information about various events for utilization in the provision of assistance to visitors.

AI-MATE Blue will be available to visitors to Japan Pavilion Nagakute. By submitting an application in advance to CYBER NIPPON-KAN (http://www.nippon-kan.jp), visitors will be able to use the terminal on site to register the names of the exhibits that interest them. They will then be able to view further information related to registered exhibits online at CYBER NIPPON-KAN. This is a trial to link Japan Pavilion Nagakute - a real pavilion - with CYBER NIPPON-KAN - a virtual pavilion - in order to provide further enriching experiences to visitors. AI-MATE Blue is also capable of reading the IC chip embedded in admission tickets. Tickets will be passed over the terminals by pavilion attendants to confirm visitor reservations to various pavilions, etc.

Through the use of AI-MATE at the EXPO venue, EXPO 2005 will be proposing a vision for next-generation information technology applications and communication systems, turning this EXPO into a global trendsetter of new telecommunications technologies.

Pavilions : Gas Pavilion
After entering the Nagakute Area of EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan from the North Gate, you will see the GAS PAVILION straightaway to your left. It is a beautiful pavilion with a wood-grain exterior.

The shape of the pavilion is characterized by a long series of pillars that form a rhythmical ellipse, and a gently sloping white stairway that encompasses the outer circumference of the structure. It is designed not only to be barrier free but also incorporates a piloti design on the first floor that will provide a wide, roofed open-air area which will enable visitors to spend their time in comfort as they wait to enter the pavilion on rainy days or in times of intense heat.

This pavilion is being exhibited by the Japan Gas Association, which is comprised of about 230 city gas utilities across Japan. The basic theme of the pavilion is “Dream Energy - For People, for the Earth.” It will appeal the diversity and possibilities of natural gas, an energy resource whose increased use is hoped for around the world as clean energy that is easy on both people and the Earth.

The main show is the “Flame Magic Theater,” a show that combines real flames, special effects, video and live performances by actors. In the main theater, famous Japanese actors Masahiko Tsugawa and Arata Furuta will play the role of wizards in footage, while young actors will appear on the actual stage as their apprentices. They will provide a humorous stage while conversing with pavilion visitors. The secret spell used in this production is, “Flint, fire, foo!” Wizardly magic begins with this incantation. In the climax, flamboyant magic that uses real flames of natural gas will be presented, appealing the gentleness of flames and the importance of energy. The show is about 12 minutes long, and three shows are planned to be performed per hour.

With “mysterious gas” as the keyword, the exhibition hall will introduce cutting-edge technology and information about gas energy, with a focus on natural gas. The centerpiece exhibit will be “burning ice,” or methane hydrate, which is drawing hot attention as a next-generation energy source. It is said that in the sea around Japan alone, there is enough methane hydrate reserve to fuel Japan's natural gas consumption for about 100 years. Methane hydrate, which looks just like ice, will actually be burned in demonstrations. Other exhibits include fuel cells for residential use that produce electricity through gas, as well as gas-fired air conditioners that burn gas to cool the air. They will be introduced in a fun and easy to understand manner.

The GAS PAVILION will be the only corporate pavilion that will open up its rooftop to the public as an observation square. Visitors will be able to see the EXPO Plaza and Global Loop from the square showcased by various plants, and enjoy the abundant nature and festivities of the EXPO.

For further details, please refer to the GAS PAVILION webpage.


Ole Philipson (Denmark)
After 15 years immersed in the world of World Expositions - six of which as President of the International Expositions Bureau BIE - I have developed a strong belief in the universal value of these great events.

Though all EXPOs are obliged by the BIE to follow certain rules, each EXPO nevertheless is unique, as each EXPO is a true reflection of its times. This undoubtedly is a reason why the World Expositions have been so successful and so popular for more than 150 years.

EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan reflects with its wonderful and profound theme (“Nature’s Wisdom”) both the fears that we have harmed Nature and our hopes to be able to develop closer relations with Nature in the time to come.

The notion that Nature in itself actually possesses wisdom is closer to the Japanese mentality than to the mentality of most other countries. That is undoubtedly why this theme is so immensely attractive to all the nations of the world.

The visitors to the EXPO will meet a great display of cultures, of art and artifacts from the whole world, presented personally by citizens coming from the whole world. The big Japanese corporations will add significantly to the visitors’ experience with their cutting-edge technology and innovative visions of the future. Finally the section with non-official participants - like NGOs - will further add their humane dimension to the EXPO.

All in all, EXPO 2005 will offer an unforgettable experience - a chance in a lifetime to get a close look at the whole world and a hint of what lies ahead for all of us.

During most of the year 2005 the prefecture of Aichi will hold center stage. Many millions of people will come to EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan, and more people even will follow the event through the media.

I wish the best of luck!
lots of fun!
and success!
to the participants, the organizers and to the visitors of EXPO 2005.


Official Mascots: Morizo and Kiccoro
Morizo and Kiccoro are the official mascot characters of EXPO 2005 Aichi, Japan. They were created by two Japanese character designers, sisters who work under the name ARANZI ARONZO. The mascots’ names were chosen through a naming competition that attracted more than 80,000 entries. The characters are enjoying popularity not only among Japanese children but also among people overseas.

From April 2003, the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition, together with the Foundation for Global Peace and Environment and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), held the “Morizo & Kiccoro 100 Worlds Contest,” an art contest for children around the world. The theme of the drawings submitted was, “Day-to-day life and the world of dreams featuring Morizo and Kiccoro.” A total of 4,773 entries, including 3,059 from 29 foreign countries, were submitted to the contest. The final screening by ARANZI ARONZO and others was held in September 2003, and the prize winners were announced. The award-winning drawings will be shown at EXPO 2005 for the duration of the world exposition.

Sales of related character merchandise are going well, with pin badges and plush toys in popular demand. A picture book with Morizo and Kiccoro as the main characters is also proving very popular. Entitled “Mori no Koe (Voice of the Forest),” it is a story about how Kiccoro, who gets lost in a forest, is able to return safely to Morizo by being led by a mysterious voice of the forest. The popularity of this picture book erupted in Japan when scenes showing His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito, Honorary President of EXPO 2005, reading a passage from this picture book at the urging of his daughter Princess Aiko were shown on television.

Morizo and Kiccoro are forest fairies that live in the forests of Seto City, Aichi Prefecture where one of the EXPO’s venues are located. These forest fairies have the magical power of maintaining the spark of a forest’s life, soothing tired souls by delivering sunshine filtering in through foliage or by bringing about refreshing breezes. Morizo is an elder forest fairy and Kiccoro is a child, but the blood relationship between the two has not been disclosed. They have come to lend a helping hand to the EXPO upon learning about it, but very little is known about them. What do we know so far?

Regarding their gender, Kiccoro says, “I am neither a boy nor girl but am, at the same time, both.” Morizo is also ambivalent and says, “Everyone calls me ‘grandfather,’ but I really do not know. I do not think that I am of either gender.” As to their ages, Kiccoro says, “I was just recently born,” and Morizo says, “I have been around for so very many years that I don’t remember when I was born.” Kiccoro is an innocent and cheerful character full of curiosity who loves Morizo. Meanwhile, Morizo is kind and easy going but can be scary when mad. A well of information and full of wisdom, Morizo likes to teach things but is lenient when it comes to Kiccoro.

An animated series featuring Morizo and Kiccoro has been broadcasted in the Chubu Region, where the EXPO will be held, since the spring of 2004. The series consists of short stories (each concluded in one show) that communicate the Nature’s Wisdom theme of EXPO 2005 in a way that is understandable even to small children. Ratings have been rising with each broadcast of the series. Nationwide broadcast of the animated series began this autumn, and it is now well known throughout the country.

The powers of Morizo and Kiccoro are not yet fully known. Their stories have just begun, and we have yet to see what kind of an active role the two fairies will be playing at EXPO 2005. We will need to keep a close watch on the pair to see their activities on the big stage.
EXPO 2005 AICHI, JAPAN Newsletter
To read past issues:Back Number
Editor/Publisher: Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition

Head Office:
1533-1 Ibaragabasama, Nagakute-cho
Aichi 480-1101 Japan

Nagoya Office:
Nagoya Daiya II Bldg 4F, 3-15-1 Meieki
Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002 Japan

Tokyo Office:
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Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011 Japan


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