On July 18, the Embassy of Italy held a signing ceremony for Japan’s participation in the next scheduled Universal Exposition, which will be held in Milan in 2015.

Prior to the signing, Italian Ambassador Domenico Giorgi said that Japan’s participation will further deepen the long-standing Japan-Italy friendship.

The event was attended by Giuseppe Sala, commissioner of the government of Italy for Expo Milano 2015 and CEO of the Expo 2015 Co., Marta Dassu, vice minister of foreign affairs of Italy, Hisanori Goto, commissioner general of Japan for Expo Milano 2015, and Masaaki Taira, parliamentary vice minister of economy, trade and industry.

During the event, Dassu emphasized the importance of the Expo for Italy, which is “recovering from its economic condition” and welcomed the participation of Japan, which “is “attracting attention for its ‘Abenomics’ under way.”

Under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition will focus on technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and the human diet.

Goto, who has three years of practical experiences from Expo 2005 held in Aichi Prefecture, said, “We would like to make good presentations of Japanese food culture to the world. I believe it has an affinity for ‘slow food,’ the movement that originated in Italy.”

Taira added, “We would also like to introduce Japan’s efforts to overcome the global food problem, such as through Table for Two International, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization that aims to tackle the global imbalance between under-nutrition and over-nutrition.”

Sala explained that Expo 2015 will be held from May 1 through Oct. 31, with the participation of 131 countries so far, including many Asian nations. He mentioned that the Japanese pavilion would be one of the largest and best located in the Milan site, and added his expectations for Japan’s contribution.

“Japanese food is not only delicious and nutritious, but it features aesthetic, religious and historical elements. Also, Japan has a special strength in technology, which could play an innovative role in solving the global food problem,” he said.

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