DUBAI: With Expo 2020 soon to begin in the UAE, the Japanese pavilion is coming together with authentic concepts, Japan External Trade Organization’s (JETRO) Managing Director said.
Speaking exclusively to Arab News Japan, Masami Ando, who oversees Dubai’s JETRO office, said the theme of the Japan pavilion is: ‘Where ideas meet.’
Ando said they aimed to spread the message that “the future will change for the better through the exchange of people’s ideas at the Japan Pavilion,” and visitors can find “ideas for solving problems on a global scale.”
He added that this theme will connect to Expo 2025, taking place in Osaka.
“In order to convey the message of the Japan Pavilion to visitors, we are making preparations by focusing on the ‘experience design’ of the exhibition space,” Ando said. “Currently, many talented creators are pitching their ideas in Japan, and discussions are being held day and night to develop an interactive space design using Augmented Reality technology.”
In the main exhibition building, Ando said they will introduce the “beautiful nature and culture of Japan’s four seasons and wisdom to solve problems.”
Each visitor will be able to pick up “seeds of ideas” to connect to a better world.
Despite the one-year delay and obstacles caused by the global pandemic COVID-19, Expo 2020 Dubai is going ahead on October 1 and will last until March 31, 2022.
JETRO’s Managing Director told Arab News Japan that the delay was not easy. However, preparations for the pavilion are proceeding smoothly, he added. “The construction work has already been completed and we are currently working on the construction of the internal exhibition space.”
A sushi conveyor belt also known as Kaiten Sushi will also be available as part of the Japan pavilion, so visitors could enjoy authentic Japanese sushi.
Ando, who also oversees business development to promote Japanese companies in the MENA region, said that apart from Dubai Expo 2020, JETRO is working on actively participating in initiatives that contribute to the promotion of business between Japan and the UAE, with the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries’ is fast approaching.
The organization was established in Dubai in 1981 with the aim of strengthening economic and business relations between Japan and the Gulf countries, with UAE in the center. “The establishment of JETRO Dubai has served as a gateway for the mutual business relationship between Japan and the Gulf countries,” Ando explained.
He added Japanese food and contents are very popular in the UAE. “We are aiming to further expand the business of Japanese companies by utilizing such high reputation.”
However, COVID-19 has also affected JETRO’s business as with the rest of the world. “We have lost many face-to-face business opportunities such as exhibitions and business meetings. Until now, JETRO’s activities have promoted business by interacting with people, but under the circumstances of COVID19, we strongly and actively promote online business support,” Ando said.
The managing director said he learned a lot from the region after he was posted in Dubai in 2015. “I was very lucky to get an opportunity to work here in the UAE. The UAE government constantly looks to the future and guides the country.,” Ando explained. “Under UAE’s policy of aiming to become a “knowledge hub,” nowadays, one of our main efforts is the business formation and support of Japanese start-up companies in the area.”