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Opening Ceremony of the African Fair
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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the opening ceremony of the African Fair held in Odaiba, Tokyo.
The event is part of the One Village, One Product campaign that the Government of Japan and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is working on. The purpose is to arouse the interest of average consumers toward African countries. It also seeks to acquaint a great many people with Africa through exhibits, foods, sales of handicrafts, and other attractions from 39 African countries with the goal of expanding exports of African goods to Japan.
Prime Minister Koizumi offered encouragement to the participants during his address at the opening ceremony, saying, "Foreign assistance and support is important to any country, but what is most important is for the recipient country to have the desire to take their own initiatives for development. In the absence of such a desire, countries will not develop no matter which countries offer whatever types of support. What is of importance for Japan is to continue seeking the best support policies that will enable a great many countries to take their own initiatives, to the extent that this is possible. Efforts by the people of African countries to sell the excellent products of their own countries in Japan will make the Japanese consumers happy, and I hope that such efforts will prove to be effective for their nation-building too."
Afterwards, Prime Minister Koizumi leisurely walked around examining the regional craftworks, foods, and tourism resources being displayed at the booths from each country.