The Ceremony of Awarding the MIDORI Prize
Friday, April 25, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Eighth Ceremony of Awarding the MIDORI Prize held at the Memorial Hall of Constitutional Politics in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.
The Prime Minister said in his address,
"In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and in holding the Ceremony of Awarding the MIDORI Prize here today, I would like to deliver an address on behalf of the Government.
The season of bright green color has arrived. Fields and hills as well as towns are bathed in a beautiful green color. The public holiday, Greenery Day, was established as a day to enrich our spirits by connecting us with nature and making us appreciate the blessings it provides.
After the end of World War II, Japan channeled enormous efforts into the development of industry, economy, and science and technology. At the same time, we have worked hard to expand 'greenery' throughout the country, including forestation and local greening initiatives. The 2014 Satoyama Initiative Global Conference will be held in Ishikawa Prefecture on the theme of sustainable development this coming May, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Japan’s accession to the OECD. The greenery of satoyama (village forests) and the fields tilled with the hard work of the people have given us water and agricultural crops, and helped create the culture and natural scenery of our furusato (hometowns), which we can proudly show the world.
For Japan to remain a beautiful country where young people are filled with hope for the future, while maintaining a deep appreciation for the efforts of our forefathers, I will work with the people to ensure that 'greenery' is protected and take steps to nurture 'greenery' to pass this precious resource onto future generations.
I understand that on Greenery Day and Children's Day this year as well, a nature observation program will be held in the Fukiage Gardens of the Imperial Palace for people to experience the beautiful natural environment of the Imperial Palace and deepen their understanding of nature.
I expect that through today's ceremony and various 'greenery'-related programs, people will renew their interest in and deepen their understanding of 'greenery.' I wish you good health and all the best in your endeavors."