Here you will be able to learn more about Hiroshi Yoshizumi, Mayor of Taito Ward.
Thank you for the introduction.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. First, can I thank you all for coming to this symposium despite your busy schedules. I would like to say a few words on this occasion of the inauguration of the International Asakusa Studies Project.
The aim of this project is to establish an academic base in Asakusa studies in order to show people both inside and outside Japan that Asakusa is not only an internationally famous tourist destination but also potentially a subject of academic study and research on a global scale. Meiji University contacted us last year about the project, and I agreed to its aims. We executed a memorandum with the university in March of this year and officially signed the agreement yesterday (November 15, 2007).
The theme of today's symposium is "Possibilities of Asakusa Studies". I fully expect that the project will produce useful and interesting results.
To end, I would like to thank Professor Itoda and all those concerned at Meiji University who have worked hard to organize this symposium. I would also like to thank these professors who have traveled long distances to be here with us. I wish to express my profound gratitude for your generous contribution. Thank you for your attention. (Applause.)
Moderator: Thank you Mayor. Next, Vice President Toshio Harigaya will deliver an address on behalf of Meiji University, co-sponsor of this project.