|WSC 2007> Greetings||German | French|
Fujio Mitarai, ChairmanFujio Mitarai, Chairman
Yoshinobu Ishikawa, Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture
On Hosting the International Skills Festival for All ,Japan 2007
Fujio Mitarai, Chairman, Organizing Committee, International Skills Festival for All, Japan 2007
For the first time in history, the WorldSkills Competition and the International Abilympics will take place together under the banner “International Skills Festival for All, Japan 2007”. By holding these events simultaneously, we hope that people with and without disabilities will appreciate each other’s excellence in skills. We also hope to emphasize the significance of both competitions. We firmly believe that this is an excellent opportunity to raise social awareness and the standards of vocational skills and training.
The WorldSkills Competition is the skills competition for young people up to 22 years old. Having hosted WorldSkills in Tokyo in 1970 and in Osaka in 1985, this is the third time Japan has hosted this special event.
The International Abilympics was launched in 1981 to commemorate the International Year of Disabled Persons, with the aim of improving vocational skills of persons with disabilities. This is the second time Japan has had the honor of hosting this event.
With the postwar “baby-boomer” generation turning 60 and beginning to retire in 2007 creating a shortage of skilled workers, these competitions will be a good chance to convey the importance of skilled professionals and to promote the efforts of young people at work and conscientious efforts of people with disabilities. We are also sure that hosting the competitions in our country in the early 21st century will be a great opportunity to promote Japan's wonderful skills both domestically and internationally.
Shizuoka Prefecture, the site of the event, promotes universal design and environmental accessibility. At the same time, it has a wide range of industries – from transportation equipment and semiconductor industries to bamboo crafts and other traditional goods. The area – home of Mt. Fuji and Suruga Bay – is rich in natural beauty and there are many time-honored hot springs resorts in Shizuoka, mainly on the Izu Peninsula. We believe that everyone who participates in ISF2007 will enjoy the natural beauty of the venue and its surroundings.
We truly hope that the International Skills Festival for All, Japan 2007 will be attended by as many participants as possible, and attract a high level of interest.