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Message of greeting by the Foreign Minister of Japan, Mr. Machimura. 04.04.2005

I am very happy that the exhibition of United Buddy Bears is going to be a beautiful element of the opening of the "German Year in Japan" exhibition and that takes place in Tokyo.

In 1999 and 2000 Japan successfully presented itself in Germany. Afterwards the Federal Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, initiated the "German Year in Japan". I would like to see the project enable us to deepen the relationship between Japan and Germany and to further the mutual understanding for our two countries even more.

In the exhibition, bears that have been painted by artists from all over the world are standing hand in hand. This illustrates that the international community is formed by diverse cultures and customs. It highlights the importance of respecting different personalities and of living together. I am sure that the people’s request to the bears (a symbol of the capital of Germany, Berlin) for peace and understanding reflects the same desire that the Japanese people have.

I hope that the exhibition will be a great success and attract a large number of visitors.

Message of Greeting of the German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer. 04.04.2005

I think it is an excellent idea to enlist the Buddy Bears in the campaign for tolerance and understanding. Just as every country has its own culture, history and characteristics, every Bear was painted or decorated by a different artist, giving each its own style and expression. When arranged in a circle, they all form an impressive work of art that also symbolizes the cultural diversity of our one world – a world that through peaceful coexistence can be much more than merely the sum of its parts.

In 2003, the circle of United Buddy Bears set out on a world tour, with stops in Kitzbühel, Hong Kong and Istanbul. In 2005, it will be shown in Japan as part of the Year of Germany there. Afterwards it will travel to Seoul, Sydney and other cities.

I wish the United Buddy Bears much continued success on their journey around the world!

Message of greeting from the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. 04.04.2005

Our Buddy Bears are making a trip around the world and have now arrived in Tokyo. They carry with them Berlin’s very best regards to our partner city of Tokyo and to all the people of Tokyo.

These bears, which have been painted by artists from all over the world, are intended to bring a tangible piece of Berlin to Japan’s capital city. At the same time, however, they are also a symbol representing the desire for peace, freedom, and international understanding. We in Berlin, the formerly divided city, are sending this message as a greeting to our friends and partners from around the world.

In this sense, our Buddy Bears have already become little Berlin ambassadors. I am particularly pleased that they are being exhibited now in conjunction with the “German Year in Japan.” I see this as a sign of the special bond between Germany and Japan, and especially between Berlin and Tokyo, the two partner cities.

And anyone who succumbs to the charm of these bears can acquire his or her very own Buddy Bear at auction. The proceeds go to support UNICEF and other children’s relief organizations.

I wish the people of Tokyo cheerful, but also contemplative, hours spent in the company of these Buddy Bears.



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Eine Initiative von Eva und Dr. Klaus Herlitz

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