A sunny autumn weather was full with the Global Festa Japan 2017 held outdoors in Odaiba, Tokyo. An annual weekend event, the festival is the largest of its kind in Japan where the government agencies, NGOs and the private sectors gather in the context of international development. UNIDO ITPO Tokyo also took part through the exhibition booth, where it attracted families simply looking for a fun weekend, students in search of internship opportunities, and those interested in international development.
One of the focus of UNIDO being SDGs Target #9 or “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”, UNIDO’s booth was catered to providing information on its activities along with the project introductions by the partner companies. “I feel that the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has its presence set within the company”, said Mr. Junya Ito of Komatsu. Mr. Ito who has always had an interest in the area of international development worked himself up to where he is today: CSR Department. In addition to the trust that the international community has towards Japan, the company now extends its activities to training programmes. Mr. Ito explained to booth visitors the vocational training project Komatsu exercised in Liberia in collaboration with UNIDO. Mr. Genki Tamura and Mr. Yusaku Hodota of Tohatsu Corporation were also attracting the visitors with the project they brought on board to explain: hands-on training on the fire extinguisher and its maintenance for two mechanic instructors and a technical adviser invited from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. “Our company recognizes the importance of corporate responsibility”, said Mr. Hodota who also commented that he was impressed by the passion and the commitment of the trainees.
Professor Katsuhiro Harada of Meiji Gakuin University brought his students from the class where he teaches mainly about the UN and the NGOs; Ms. Arisa Yokokawa, Ms. Ayano Shirai and Ms. Sawa Hirano, as part of the field activities of the course. “This is the first time I am visiting the Global Festa”, said Ms. Yokokawa, not hesitating to express her excitement while taking notes over the briefing by one of the officers of UNIDO. “Learning about a UN organization which I had no knowledge of interests me”, she said. Ms. Hirano added that she realizes that there are many ways to contribute to the world without being out in the field and that much could be done through the works in Japan through, for example, the representative offices. The motivated students seemed excited to know the options that lay ahead of them in making contributions in the international development area.
Along with the visits to various booths, the visitors look forward to the novelties and the brochures they receive. At the UNIDO booth, the original marshmallows with the logos of UNIDO and the SDGs designed for the occasion was a smashing hit as an item “too pretty to eat”.
The festivities of the Global Festa where the visitors can experience various food and culture make the entry to somewhat complicated topics such as SDGs and the technology transfer, more accessible. The twoday event surely contributed in bringing the unknown to the attention of the visitors in a most lively manner.
Date/Time: 30 September 2017 (Saturday) 10:00-17:00
1 October 2017 (Sunday) 10:00-17:00
Venue: Odaiba Center Promenade
Organizer: Global Festa Japan 2017 Committee Office
Co-organizers: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan;
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA);
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)