||Message from Japan: EXPO 2005 AICHI
Why "Nature's Wisdom"?
||Thanks to rapid technological development, the 20th Century was characterized by mass-production and mass-consumption, which in turn led to material improvements in our daily lives. At the same time, these trends resulted in various global issues such as desertification, global warming, and a shortage of natural resources. As these issues cannot be resolved by any one nation, the international community needs to unite in confronting them: we must come together and share our experience and wisdom, in order to create a new direction for humanity which is both sustainable and harmonious with nature.
Overcoming a dual challenge: Japan's experience
||Looking back at the history of Japan, one can see that Japan has faced a dual challenge-in focusing on economic development while at the same time preserving its precious natural environment. In spite of the fact that Japan lacks vast open spaces and abundant mineral resources, it has achieved industrial development and prosperity without destroying its natural environment. This has been possible not only through the diligence of the Japanese people themselves, but also through the application of traditional wisdom, as well as by the research and development of technology. Our ancestors aimed to benefit from nature without harming it, and they developed ways of maintaining a mutually dependent and beneficial relationship with nature. In the course of this process, it was essential to acquire deep insight and knowledge of nature's characteristics, and to invent modalities for utilizing nature's bounty in a sustainable manner, while making a positive contribution to nature itself. This kind of exercise has long been a part of the Japanese culture and way of life. In addition, through exchange with other countries and regions, Japan has developed a vast storehouse of knowledge on nature and its utilization, in areas ranging from food and clothing to housing. These efforts were made not just to introduce foreign knowledge as it is, but to adapt the knowledge so it blended with the Japanese culture and natural environment; this consequently led to the development of a new lifestyle while maintaining the Japanese cultural identity.
Technology: the key to finding answers
||In order to create a new interface between nature and life in the 21st century, the global community needs to invent a new way of life-one which is compatible with the remaining natural environment at the global level. This is why Japan has decided to host EXPO 2005 with the main theme of "Nature's Wisdom." Japan intends to make this exposition a laboratory for addressing global issues and to experiment with reestablishing the relationship between human beings and nature. Technology will play a crucial role in these efforts. Technology is a means of enhancing industrial development, and therefore is often considered as inherently eco-destructive. However, the history of Japan is evidence that this is not the truth. On the contrary, technology is the key to finding answers to global issues and identifying a new dimension in the development of humanity.
||On one hand, technology is an indispensable medium for bringing the richness of nature into our lives. As just one example, consider new energy sources, such as solar and wind power, which can hardly be utilized in modern society without the aid of technology. The more technology advances, the more costs decrease. These benefits can be widely distributed.
||Seen from another aspect, technology has enormous potential to minimize the possible negative effects on the environment brought about by improvements in living standards and global population growth. Furthermore, there is also huge potential for it to contribute to the preservation of nature, by applying it to efforts to maintain biodiversity, and repair damage to the environment.
Culture: defining the future of technology
||In this regard, establishment of more harmonious interaction between nature and human life may be feasible through technological progress. However, technology alone cannot solve the global issues we are facing. It is the will of the peoples of the world, and their ways of life, that determine the kinds of technology to be invested in and utilized, and in which ways. It should be kept in mind that our way of life is closely related to our customs, traditions, and culture. Introducing new technology often has a broad impact on our cultural life in various ways. In some cases it helps us create a new style of culture and enriches our cultural diversity. Other times, it may lead to the deterioration of old traditions and cultural values.
||Therefore, not only do nature and technology need to go hand in hand, but technology and cultural life also need to coexist in a harmonious and creative way. It is obvious that the preservation of nature cannot be pursued country by country, as nature knows no borders. It can only be promoted and achieved collectively, through efforts on a global scale. In fact, this is also true for culture, as no one culture has been or will be completely independent of other cultures: to a greater or lesser degree, every culture has been influenced by other cultures in its formation and development. This exchange and interaction between different cultures greatly contributes to the enrichment of cultures on a global level.
A new balance between nature, technology and culture
||We expect this exposition will give impetus to the establishment of programs for the development of nature, technology, and culture as well as new and well-balanced relationships among them, with the goal of bettering our lives and our planet. This will be achieved through collecting and presenting both traditional and new aspects of "Nature's Wisdom" from each nation and its people.
What Will You See at EXPO 2005?
Based on the ideas noted above, and as the first World Exposition to be held in the 21st century, EXPO 2005 Aichi will present the following package:
Experience Nature's Wisdom
||EXPO 2005 represents a determined effort by Japan to develop new modalities of life for the 21st century. It is an ambitious attempt to rediscover "Nature's Wisdom"-science and technology inherent in our surroundings that together foster a sound balance between human life and the environment. It is also an amazing showcase of cutting-edge technologies, which give us solutions to myriad global issues and enable the sustainable development of the world economy.
||Visitors will experience " Nature's Wisdom" in the following three contexts:
||Rediscovering Nature: Learning more about how the earth works is something we should do first. You will feel the dynamism of our planet at the 360-degree spherical Earth Vision. You will see an extinct mammoth just excavated from the frozen soil of Russia, which is a stark reminder of the true meaning of global warming. The Expo site itself is located in unspoiled natural surroundings, where you will feel the mystic forces of breathing trees and flowers.
||An Eco-Friendly Life with Nature's Wisdom: The history of humankind has been one of learning from nature's wisdom, and there are many examples of ancient wisdom which show how humankind and nature can coexist in harmony. Fused nicely with modern technologies, such traditional wisdom will grab the spotlight again: The outer shell of the Japan Pavilion is made of bamboo, which has long been used as a natural sunshade in Japanese communities. The roof of the pavilion will be sprinkled with recycled water, which is another traditional method to significantly lower the temperature inside. Of course, you will also see state-of-the-art eco-technologies everywhere around the Expo site: Fuel-cell hybrid buses, which will carry visitors to and from the site, produce no carbon dioxide or harmful pollutants. The tableware used at food courts will consist of earth-friendly utensils made mainly of biomass, derived from plants and other recyclable organic matters. All of the electricity supplied to the Japan Pavilion will be generated through an on-site new energy system, in which even the garbage from visitors is converted into fuel.
||Visit the Future with Nature's Wisdom: By fully exploiting the infinite potential of science and technology, we can travel forward in time to see earth-friendly communities of the future. You will see a variety of robots moving all around the site; some of them will be talking to you like a friend, some of them will be cleaning up the site, and some of them will be playing trumpets. A convoy of three intelligent buses will move automatically-without any human driver on board-and a smart futuristic vehicle for individual personal use will also be introduced to the public. The Expo's "ubiquitous" information technology environment, filled with advanced mobile communication technologies, will assist visitors in traveling efficiently within the site.
||EXPO 2005 intends to create new prototypes for the future of our children and grandchildren, since it is they who will soon be at the forefront of integrating nature, technology, and culture. It is an ideal opportunity to enable them to experience all the wonder of Nature's Wisdom. Education and entertainment, in particular, are important for young children. To satisfy their curiosity to the greatest extent possible, EXPO 2005 will offer exciting and amusing programs in collaboration with world-famous animation film producers.
A Grand Intercultural Symphony
||Nature is a global kaleidoscope. People interact with nature in countless ways, and these interactions generate immense global diversity in lifestyles, cultural traditions, and traditional and modern arts. EXPO 2005 is a place where people of various countries meet together, communicate among each other, exchange and fuse the diverse "wisdom" they have, and create a brand-new tune of global harmony. In this sense, EXPO 2005 is a "grand intercultural symphony."
||Historically, Japan has absorbed a huge volume of wisdom from the world into its domestic culture-from traditional Oriental philosophy to modern Western civilization, and from the cultural heritage derived from ancient Asia to contemporary "hip-hop" fashion. These various cultural assets do not just coexist in harmony; they continuously blend and fuse together to give birth to a totally new product. This is the major driving force of Japan's industrial development, and Japan is proud to play host to this grand intercultural symphony at EXPO 2005 with this background in mind.
||In cooperation with more than 120 countries from five continents, a wide range of cultural legacy and artistic beauty of the world will be displayed throughout the Expo site, and numerous world-class performers will appear on stage every day. The "Love the Earth" international music project, to which Mr. Eric Clapton is a major contributor, is just one example.
||EXPO 2005 focuses not only on entertainment, but also on promoting dialogue among world intellectuals. This is going to be an exposition that addresses issues and asks questions, focusing on environmental, energy, population, urban development, and other areas of global concern. Through various seminars and symposia, EXPO 2005 envisages creation of a global wisdom network and a long-term intellectual heritage.
The Global Loop in the Forests
||The venue for experiencing Nature's Wisdom and for joining in the Grand Intercultural Symphony is constructed in a way carefully designed to minimize the environmental load. Existing forests and ponds in the Expo site are utilized in their natural state to the greatest extent possible, so that water and greenery combine in harmony. The Global Loop, a 2.6-kilometer-long elevated corridor connecting all the exhibits of official participants, offers a smooth and barrier-free access to each country's pavilion; at the same time, it has eliminated the necessity of cutting down trees or filling in ponds. Pavilions around the Global Loop are built in full respect for the "3 Rs" (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle), and the Expo site will return to its original conditions after the Expo is over. An extensive environmental assessment has been carried out, with results being regularly reviewed. These eco-friendly efforts are just some of the great challenges that Japan has tackled in connection with this Expo.
||Aichi is an ideal place to host this Expo, which showcases the infinite potential for sustainable development with Nature's Wisdom. Aichi, in the heartland of Japan, is a rich agricultural area with fertile farmland. For example, Aichi is the No.1 producer of flowers-such as roses and chrysanthemums-in Japan. At the same time, Aichi is a focus of Japan's industrial development, from crafting traditional porcelain housewares to manufacturing high-tech automobiles. The headquarters of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. is located in Aichi, so it is no wonder that Aichi is now the engine for the whole Japanese economy.
See you in Aichi!
||Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what EXPO 2005 Aichi is all about. You can find more information on our website, at http://www.expo2005.or.jp. Please come and join us. We look forward to seeing you in Aichi!
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