Address by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince
at the Opening Ceremony of the 8th World Water Forum
（March 19th, 2018, Itamaraty Palace, Brasilia, Brazil）
Your Excellency Mr. Michel Temer, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great honor and pleasure to give a few remarks at the 8th World Water Forum upon the invitation by His Excellency President Michel Temer. I remember my visit to this country in 2008 on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil. I was deeply impressed and touched by the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me by Brazilian people. I should also mention that the people of Japan has never forgotten the generous support by the Government of Brazil and the people of Brazil who had warm-heartedly received Japanese immigrants.
Water is one of the most important resources that propels the development of many countries, including Japan. Water, however, poses many problems to the world today. Droughts often have impacts on many parts of the world, while at the same time frequent floods severely affect other areas. Furthermore, serious water contamination in many regions has been worsened and harming wetlands and other water-related ecosystems. The current global water situation overshadows priority development issues such as gender, education, employment, and poverty, particularly in countries and areas where water and sanitation services are not adequately provided.
I will discuss this in more detail in my keynote lecture this afternoon, but water is deeply associated not only with the hydrosphere, but also the atmosphere and the geosphere. It stands as the foundation of the overall environment on the planet. The very existence of human beings throughout its history has been deeply rooted in water. Water problems cannot be solved without knowing the history and culture relating to the water of each country, region or community. In order to ensure “sharing water,” we need to understand deeply the essentiality of water for nature and human beings, learn in history from experiences and wisdom on water, share information relating to water and collaborate in conserving and utilizing water.
With this in mind, I believe that the 8th World Water Forum will give us great opportunities to understand the close relations of water to the global environment and other sectors; share experiences and good practices in the past; and collaborate among stakeholders to take effective action for the global betterment of water.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations in 2015 set a dedicated water goal namely SDG6, and positioned water as a cross-cutting issue to link various goals. Therefore, people working in the water sector should turn our eyes to challenges from other sectors, proactively approach experts and stakeholders from other sectors, create synergy, and take action towards the holistic achievement of all the SDGs and targets.
The High Level Panel on Water launched last week its Final Outcome Report. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the eleven Heads of State and the Special Advisor of the Panel for their dedication and action to address the global water issues.
We have gathered here in Brasilia to solve water problems. Solving water problems, however, is just a step forward to our final goal. Beyond that point, there should be prosperity, peace and happiness of the people brought about by water. I hope all of you will join hands towards this end.