Burgemeester Kagami biraki ceremony Japanese stand Vakantiebeurs
Speech Mayor Jan van Zanen
Utrecht, Jaarbeurs, 14 January 2017
Inomata-san, your excellency, ladies and gentlemen,
Konnichiwa, welcome to Utrecht. A great honour to be invited to this ceremony again, as the Mayor of the City of Utrecht and as a long time friend of Japan and the Japanese community in the Netherlands.
I'm sure, many Dutch travellers, looking for a holidays destination, or embarking on a business trip, will be tempted by the magic of your stand and of your country. Maybe a bit like the first Dutch people who came to live on the island of Deshima near Nagasaki. Recently reviving in a reconstruction on the initiative of the Nagasaki people. Which, now already, yearly attracts 400 thousand visitors. Japanese, but also Dutch people for whom this is a shared piece of history.
I trust that your stand, here at the Vakantiebeurs, will, like Deshima, become a window through which everyone can cast a glance at Japan and its people. To be picked out, by more and more travellers, as an attractive and fascinating destination for their holidays and business trips.
May this stand be a place where many exciting journeys will be planned, and many close ties forged and affirmed. Please enjoy your stay at the Vakantiebeurs and consider Japan as a wonderful destiny. The land of the rising sun.