Participants get keys to Aichi expo pavilions


Newly completed pavilions for the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture were handed over to about 130 participating countries and international organizations at a ceremony Tuesday.

French Commissioner General Bernard Testu, head of the steering committee representing the 122 participating countries and six international organizations, received the pavilion key from Shoichiro Toyoda, chairman of the Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition and honorary chairman of Aichi-based Toyota Motor Corp.

“The site is unique and outstanding,” U.N. Commissioner General Helene-Marie Gosselin said in an interview earlier in the day. “I commend very much the expo organizers for having done everything to preserve the beauty and the integrity of this site.”

Gosselin is among about 300 representatives and ambassadors from 99 countries attending the ceremony at the Nagakute main site, about 20 km from Nagoya.

U.S. Commissioner General Lisa Gabel told a news conference in Nagoya prior to the ceremony: “The United States is fully committed to participating in this expo. We are doing it because of our strong relationship with our friend and our ally, Japan.”