YURIKO, KOIKE – It is truly a pleasure and great honor to host the first International Water Association congress held in Japan and to welcome so many people who have come to our city from all over the world. May I take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to IWA President Diane d’Arras and her staff, and everyone from industry, academia and government for their hard work and dedication to ensure the success of this congress.
Water is a precious resource that is crucial to people’s lives and urban activities. However, the water environment in the world faces many challenges including more frequent natural disasters brought on by climate change, water shortages and water quality deterioration due to rapid urbanization.
To overcome such challenges, the key themes of the IWA Tokyo congress are sustainability of water supply and sewer systems into the future, and their resilience against various risks. I hope that the participants will share their latest insights and technologies through active discussions and interactions at the sessions and produce outcomes that will greatly contribute to resolving the world’s water challenges.
Tokyo has been working for over a century to ensure the provision of safe and delicious water and to improve the living environment by expanding sewer system coverage, and has built a resilient water supply and sewage system that can hold up against various risks such as disasters and the impacts of climate change. At this congress we will actively share the expertise and technologies we have gained and developed in this process. I also plan to speak on the theme of a sustainable urban water cycle as a keynote speaker on Sept. 17.
Some 200 exhibitors will also be displaying their water-related products at the exhibition hall. There will be a Japan Pavilion featuring Japanese companies and organizations, as well as business forums by exhibitors, which will present a golden opportunity for Japanese companies to promote their world-leading technologies.
This year is a landmark year for Tokyo. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the renaming of Edo to Tokyo. During those many years, Tokyo overcame many difficulties and grew dramatically in many areas including economy, culture, and safety. Tokyo is also a city that boasts traditions passed down over the generations. I hope that all of the congress participants will take this opportunity to really experience such attractions of Tokyo.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will also use the insights and outcomes of this congress for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and for Tokyo’s sustainable development.
My best wishes for the great success of the IWA congress in Tokyo.