(Check against delivery)I am delighted to celebrate with you the launch of the International Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”. Water is a source of life. But, occasionally water can be a serious threat to life. In short, water is a key element of sustainable development.
Japan has been a rice-cultivating nation from ancient times styling itself “the Land of Lush Rice”. As such, the Japanese have continuously worked for flood control and irrigation.
Japan has addressed water-related issues of the world. In the health sector, we place particular emphasis on improving the water and sanitation environment, which is vital for ensuring maternal and child health and children’s healthy growth.
We also focus on international cooperation related to disaster risk reduction and (as well as those) for post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction to build a more disaster-resilient society.
The Crown Prince of Japan attended the 8th World Water Forum, currently underway in Brazil, and delivered the keynote speech at the session on "Water and Disaster".
Improving water use efficiency is definitely an increasingly important issue for the international community.
The next decade will be a decade for action to accelerate our efforts towards achieving SDG 6. We must be united. Japan will work closely with other Member States and related international organizations to address various issues related to SDG 6.