No Expo worries despite ongoing crisis in Japan

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No Expo worries despite ongoing crisis in Japan

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Participants listen to a speech by the secretary general of the Bureau of International Exhibitions, Vincente Loscertales, during the second international planning meeting for Yeosu Expo 2012, yesterday at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. [YONHAP]

Officials and participants for Yeosu Expo 2012 reaffirmed they would not let the ongoing radiation crisis in Japan have any effect on preparations for the international event, during a second planning meeting at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, yesterday.

A total of 252 participants from 99 countries, along with five international organizations, attended the meeting, in which various expo leaders made comments and announced progress on the event scheduled to run in the South Gyeongsang coastal town next year from May 12 to Sept. 12.

Kang Dong-suk, chairman of the Yeosu Expo Organizing Committee; Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, secretary general of the Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE); and Lee Joon-hee, the commissioner of Expo 2012, all spoke at the meeting.

“I cannot say that we will be free [from the effects],” said Loscertales when asked whether radiation from Japan would affect the Yeosu World’s Fair, which has an ocean theme.

“The nuclear crisis will influence the Yeosu Expo in a positive way,” Loscertales added. “It will tell everyone that no one is free from this type of catastrophe and that we cannot simply rely only on technology. Yeosu has to inform its visitors that we are not free from this [sort of] disaster.”

Loscertales also emphasized that Yeosu’s cyber expo, in which the expo’s exhibits will be displayed online, will bring the experience of the event to people around the world who cannot make it personally.

“With sports events, you watch it on television. But with the expo, which will run for three months, you cannot make news every day. The media and Internet are very important [in this aspect],” Loscertales said, who added that millions of visitors are expected to attend the event in person or online.

There is a chance that some of those visitors will be North Koreans, with the chairman of the committee hinting that North Korea may be a participant in the expo.

“North Korea is a member of the BIE and I met the North Korean representative in Paris last year during a meeting for the exhibition,” Kang said. “I told him, ‘It would be great if you could participate in our expo.’ Although I know he doesn’t have the authority, he gave me a knowing smile that I decided to understand in a positive light.”

South Korea hosted the 1993 World’s Fair in Daejeon with the theme of “The Challenge of a New Road of Development.”

“Although it brought success to the city, it was very difficult to know the exact theme of the expo,” Loscertales said.

The theme of Yeosu’s event is “The Living Ocean and Coast.” Loscertales said the Yeosu Expo committee is going through a “good, thematic development.”

Another organizing committee meeting will be held in February, just three months before the World’s Fair in Yeosu opens.

The first meeting was held last April.


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

여수세계박람회 제2차 참가국회의

2012여수세계박람회 조직위원회(이하 조직위)는 5~7일 서울 신라호텔과 여수에서 여수세계박람회 제2차 참가국회의를 개최한다.

이번 회의는 여수세계박람회 참가 확정 국가와 유치 대상 국가, 유관 국제기구 대표 등에게 여수박람회 준비 상황과 계획을 설명하는 행사다. 로세르 탈레스 BIE(국제박람회기구) 사무총장과 100여개 국가와 6개 국제기구의 정부대표 등 모두 250여명이 참석할 예정이다. 지난해 4월에 이어 두 번째로 열리는 행사다.

5일은 환영 리셉션을 하고 6일 회의를 연 뒤 7일 여수 박람회 준비 현장을 둘러본다.

조직위는 참가자들에게 박람회 준비 현황뿐 아니라 각국의 박람회 준비를 위한 세부 참가 가이드라인을 설명할 계획이다. 또 참가 국가 별로 박람회 준비 상황을 파악하고 박람회에 관한 의견을 모은다.

조직위 권영대 해외1과장은 “개막일까지 1년 1개월밖에 남지 않은 시점에서 열리는 회의라서 많은 참가국이 정부 대표를 보내는 등 큰 관심을 보이고 있다”고 말했다.

‘살아 있는 바다, 숨 쉬는 연안’을 주제로 2012년 5월12일부터 8월 12일까지 여수신항 일대에서 열리는 여수세계박람회는 100개 국가와 5개 국제기구 참여 유치를 목표로 하고 있다. 현재까지 92개 국가와 6개 국제기구가 참가 의사를 통보해 왔다.

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