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La Festa Mille Miglia 2001 -ITALIA IN GIAPPONE-

Under a banner of the three basic tenets "Respect for time-honored things," "Young at heart regardless of age," and "Expanding the circle of friendship among all participants," La Festa Mille Miglia with its fifth meet welcomes the new century together with its northern Italy progenitor Mille Miglia.

The year 2001 will feature a number of events introducing the arts and culture of Italy in major cities throughout Japan as part of the "ITALIA IN GIAPPONE (Italy in Japan) 2001" program supported by both Italy and Japan. We are honored to learn that La Festa Mille Miglia 2001 has been selected as one of these events. In recognition of this honor, the goal destination for day 4 which was previously Hakone has been moved so as to have the participants follow a route friendship between Italy and Japan, Several vehicles with Italian drivers will be included among the participants. While the event was last year cheered by over 70,000 people ranging from small children to elderly people, the event this year will be an adventure warranting an even greater turnout.

It seems that computer technology of the new century will make our lives even more speedy and convenient. In present times, "use and discard, buy and replace" will be offset by "even though old, inconvenient, or fragile, it is good" among people who yearn for "fullness" and "encounters." Every year, they will gather with their smiles reflecting their youthful hearts at Meiji Shrine to urge on classic sports cars as they set off for the goal 1000 miles far ahead of them.

There was an era a half century ago when "Delinquent with a guitar! Rascal in a sports car!" were common perceptions.
The enthusiasm of the youth of that generation has not been lost, even though gray hair has appeared on their heads and their eyes now require bifocals. It appears, in fact, that their eyes sparkle as if they were enjoying a time slip back to the days of their youth. Yes, and they are not juvenile delinquents, but splendid ladies and gentlemen of today.

Here in our country, more than 70 years of history in a sporting event utilizing public roads is represented by the marathon, with its beginning in the same era as Mille Miglia of Italy. While Japan can be proud of its reputation as a great automobile nation, car events have been primarily speed races, exhibitions and events designed to promote the industry, and generally charging admission fees. Is it not about time that is the new century, public roads in Japan unfold as stages for classic sports car events such as are numerous in Western countries?

"Adults with an ever-present glow," "children seeing their dreams" - that is the new century envisioned in the birth of La Festa Mille Miglia in 1997.

"Gaining Strength Through Continuity," continuation being the mother of legend and history. Together with the three basic tenets given in the first paragraph, and the smiling faces and enthusiasm of participants, fans and otherwise concerned parties, this will be a further development of "culture."

La Festa Mille Miglia 2001 Organization Committee

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