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March 5, 2010

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'Purple Silkworm' beckons

WORLD Expo 2010 Shanghai China will soon begin. After the long preparation that began in 2002 when Shanghai was elected to host this World Expo, everyone has been eagerly awaiting its opening.

As chairman of the Congressmen's Association for Cooperation with World Expo 2010 Shanghai China, which was established in November 2006, I have personally participated in activities designed to help turn this event into a great success. Like everyone else, I am looking forward to the opening and sincerely wish it a great success.

World Expo 2010 Shanghai China will focus on urban issues facing human societies in the 21st century. It will be the largest-ever international exposition, with 70 million visitors expected. The Japanese nation has gone all out to prepare for participation in this event.

We hope the World Expo Shanghai will embody the spirit of Japan's 2005 "Love and the Earth" Expo, both in its success and in the contribution it can make to ordinary people in China gaining a better understanding of Japan.

Great exchange

At this World Expo, Japan will present the Japan Pavilion, named "Purple Silkworm Island," the Urban Best Practice Area of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City, and the Pavilion of Japanese Industry. I hope local residents will come to visit us during the exposition.

An increasing number of people have been traveling between Japan and China in recent years. I hope World Expo Shanghai will further promote this great exchange.

In 1972, when Japan and China normalized diplomatic relations, barely 10,000 people traveled between the two countries. Today, the number has jumped to nearly 5.12 million.

Shanghai alone receives more than 1 million Japanese visitors each year and is home to around 7,000 Japanese-invested companies and nearly 50,000 Japanese people who reside and work there.

At the same time, the number of Chinese tourists to Japan has been increasing.

I hope World Expo 2010 will be a catalyst for more Japanese to visit China and get to know the Chinese people.


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