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President, The Mainichi Newspapers
One of man's most consistent characteristics is his curiosity. From the most ancient times, man has pursued the unknown and this pursuit has been the springboard of human and scientific progress.
We cannot deny that the primitive urge of curiosity has been the foundation of the Time Capsule Expo '70 project too. Being curious people ourselves, we have assumed that the people of 5,000 years hence will be the same and that a record of life in ancient times will be of immense interest to them.
During our discussions about the contents of the capsules, we attempted to put ourselves in the position of those living in the distant future and we asked ourselves how we could fully satisfy their curiosity. So, to some extent perhaps, our final selection was rather subjective. Nevertheless, as far as the practical aspects of the capsules were concerned, these were approached in a throughly scientific way.
Great efforts were made to ensure that the capsules and their contents would survive for the required length of time – including the development of special preservation techniques. Every possible process was considered for the treatment of perishable items. Regrettably, we had to exclude some items which we would have liked to put in; however we are confident that the final selection will give a remarkably clear picture of life, science and art in the year 1970.
The age we live in is sometimes referred to as the age of nuclear energy or the age of space travel, but in fact we are merely on the threshold of major developments in these fields. We are still investigating the potential of nuclear energy and making our first exploratory journeys into space.
This is an exciting era in which systematic research promises the answer to many of the problems facing mankind. It is our hope that you, the people of the future, will understand not only the way we live now but also the particular spirit of the year 1970 AD.
(Translated from Japanese, M-1-1-3)
President, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company
In commemoration of the Japan World Exposition, 1970, with its theme "Progress and Harmony for Mankind", we decided to prepare a time capsule as a gift to mankind 5,000 years hence, a record of our civilization.
Other great and colourful civilizations have preceded ours and we are aware that our knowledge, our science and our art in the 20th century owe much to the hard-won achievements of those who have gone before. As long as mankind lives in the universe, every civilization will be a priceless legacy.
I believe that something of our civilization will survive the ravages of time. But eventually much of what we have achieved will disappear without trace- as we know from our investigations into past civilizations - due to human destruction or natural causes. Thus, with the help of numerous people from all over the world, we decided to select and preserve articles representative of our age. The contents of the capsules were studied with great care and treated with scientific preservation techniques so that they will surely survive in good condition for 5,000 years - no doubt to the great astonishment of those who unearth them !
Today, we have a high level of material civilization, as witnessed by the great advances in electronics and the development of so many labour-saving products. But even so, there are still many people on this earth who are plagued by war and poverty; many people are now asking whether we have failed to pay sufficient attention to spiritual prosperity and sincere thought is being given to the improvement of the quality of life for everyone.
No human being alive in 1970 AD can possibly expect to be on hand in 5,000 years to greet the people of the future, but we hope that through the records and objects in the capsule we can demonstrate not only the practical aspects of life today but also how we have tried to create a humanitarian and liberal-minded society We hope that our descendants will have the wisdom to learn from our mistakes and build a society based on mutual understanding, trust and the love of mankind.
(Translated from Japanese, M-1-1-4)
The contents of this site are excerpted from THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF TIME CAPSULE EXPO'70(March 1975). Please note that company and organization names may differ from those of the current ones.
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