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Gov't backing Osaka's bid to host World Expo in 2025


September 29, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to have Osaka stand as a candidate to host the World Expo in 2025, it has been learned.

The administration judged that having Osaka host the expo would serve as a reflationary measure following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Officials plan to register the city as a candidate with the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions as early as next spring.

The Osaka Prefectural Government has been engaged in activities to draw the expo to the city. In contrast with the Olympic Games, where a local body stands as a candidate, the central government plays the central role in bids to host the World Expo. The prefectural government has accordingly approached the central government for support.

In September 2014, the prefectural government began considering hosting the expo with the aim of revitalizing the economy. Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui, head of the political party Initiatives from Osaka (Nippon Ishin no Kai), repeatedly sought cooperation from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, to whom he has close ties, for the move to go ahead.

In August this year, Matsui met in Tokyo with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko and made a formal request for assistance. One government official divulged, "Suga instructed the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry to give the issue full consideration, and Mr. Seko is positive about it."

In a question session at a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Sept. 28, Abe stated, "The expo results in an increase in visitors not only to the host area but to our country (as a whole), and provides a spark to vitalize local economies."

Regarding a basic concept for the expo that the prefectural government will compile as early as this autumn, Abe stated, "We will carefully examine the details and move ahead to give it proper consideration.

In comments in the Diet in January, Abe had merely stated, "I'd like to determine the feasibility of the plan."

Abe's latest response came as a reply to Nobuyuki Baba, secretary-general of Initiatives from Osaka. With forces in favor of revising the Constitution having secured a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the Diet following the July House of Councillors election, it appears that Abe hopes to deepen ties with the party from Osaka.

Paris is also expected to put its name forward as a candidate to host the 2025 World Expo. If Osaka is chosen, Japan can expect to revisit the Olympic-Expo combination that underscored a period of high economic growth with the staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and Expo '70 in Osaka.



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Japan seems to be going all out lately to host all kind of events (Asian Games, Expo, Olympics, Rugby World Cup...). I think this has to do with Shinzo Abe policy of making Japan more dominant on the world scenario rather than neutral. 

While i'm glad they're becoming relevant again at hosting stuff I just hope this doesn't strains their economy which already suffered because of the 2011 Tohoku disaster.

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These are really interesting events from an urban planning perspective. Cities have far more freedom in choosing what they want to build for the World's Fair than they do for the Olympics. But unfortunately cities generally do even less legacy planning than for the Olympics.

Anyway, television and the internet have basically obsoleted the technological and "see the world" aspects of the World's Fairs. From a consumer standpoint why buy a ticket for the world's fair when you can literally see the world from Google Maps' street view?

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Toronto, Canada


$1.9 billion price tag for Expo 2025, but boosters argue event would bring in almost $3 billion



The study was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Aurp and Lord Culture Resources at no cost to taxpayers. It found that the event would bring in $1.26 billion in tax revenue to all three levels of government. It would also create direct revenues of $1.64 billion from ticket sales, sponsorships and other sources.

Key to the bid is Toronto’s $975-million plan to redevelop the Port Lands. If that project isn’t completed, the bid can’t move forward, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said.



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Japan gov't approves Osaka's bid to host 2025 World Expo

April 11, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)


TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government approved Tuesday the bid by Osaka Prefecture to host the 2025 World Exposition.

The western Japanese city will be pitted against Paris, while Russia is also seen as moving to announce its candidacy to host the world's fair. Osaka previously hosted the expo in 1970, an event that symbolized Japan's rapid economic growth after World War II along with the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The host will be decided through a vote by member countries of the expo's governing body, the Bureau International des Expositions, at its general meeting in November 2018.

Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui will file the candidacy as early as April 24 at the BIE headquarters in Paris. Sadayuki Sakakibara, the chief of the Japan Business Federation, heads the bidding committee and will accompany Matsui.

Osaka has proposed to hold the event on the artificial island of Yumeshima over a period of 185 days between May and November 2025, with estimates that it could benefit the economy by 1.9 trillion yen ($17 billion), while 28 million to 30 million people are expected to visit the fair

"It will bring significant economic impact to our country," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference after the Cabinet approved Osaka's bid.

The 1970 Osaka Expo was visited by around 64 million people. Japan also hosted the expo in 2005 in Aichi Prefecture.

Construction costs for the latest attempt are estimated at 125 billion yen. The central government, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments as well as the private sector will each shoulder a third of the expenses.

Japan is planning to push its bid at the BIE's general meetings to be held in June and November. It will also have a similar opportunity when the body visits Osaka for inspection in early 2018 at the earliest.


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List of Candidates for World Expo 2025

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has today closed the candidature period for World Expo 2025. Four countries have submitted competing bids to organise World Expo 2025: France (in Greater Paris), Japan (in Osaka), the Russian Federation (in Yekaterinburg), and Azerbaijan (in Baku).

France’s bid is for a World Expo in Greater Paris between 1 May and 30 October 2025 under the theme “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for Our Planet”.

Japan’s bid is for a World Expo in Osaka between 3 May and 3 November 2025 under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.

The Russian Federation’s bid is for a World Expo in Yekaterinburg between 2 May and 2 November 2025 under the theme “Changing the World: Inclusive Innovations – for Our Kids and Future Generations”.

Azerbaijan’s bid is for a World Expo in Baku between 10 May and 10 November 2025 under the theme “Human Capital”.

List of Candidates for World Expo 2025

The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, stated: “the BIE welcomes these four bids, which demonstrate a strong interest in and enthusiasm for hosting World Expos across the globe. The project evaluation phase will now allow us to find out more about the vision of each candidate and how they aim to address the universal challenges of the 21st century.

”The project examination phase for World Expo 2025 will take place over the next year and a half. Each candidate will submit a bid dossier in September 2017, to be followed by a BIE Enquiry Mission in early 2018. Candidates will also present their Expo project during each General Assembly between now and the final vote. The election of the host country by the 170 Member States of the BIE will take place at the 164th General Assembly in November 2018.

World Expos, known officially as International Registered Exhibitions, are organised every five years. They can last up to six months, and international participants can build their own pavilions on the Expo site. The themes of World Expos are designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time. The most recent World Expo was held in the city of Milan, Italy, in 2015, under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The next World Expo will take place in Dubai (UAE) between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021 under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.



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Four World Expo 2025 visions offered to delegates
08 December 2017

Japan (Osaka), Russia (Ekaterinburg), Azerbaijan (Baku) and France (Greater Paris) each presented a more detailed idea of their projects for World Expo 2025 during the 162nd General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 15 November.

These presentations to delegates of BIE Member States were the first ones since candidates submitted their bid dossiers, detailing the full Expo project, in late September 2017. In early 2018, BIE Enquiry Missions will be carried out in each candidate country to assess each bid individually. Candidates will have the chance to present again to delegates in June 2018 and in November 2018, when the final vote will take place during the BIE’s 164th General Assembly.

Osaka, Japan

Japan’s bid was presented by Chieko Fujita, of POLY-GLU social business, Rwandan entrepreneur and Osaka resident Joachim Rutayisire, and by the mayor of Osaka, Hirofumi Yoshimura.


Via a video, a glimpse of the futuristic site on Yumeshima Island that is proposed for Expo 2025 Osaka was given to delegates. A video message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also shown to express his belief in the project and emphasise the role that Japanese technology and expertise can play in contributing to global development.

Building up on the theme, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, Ms. Fujita emphasised its potential in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, telling delegates about the role of cooperation and co-creation in improving lives across the world.

Mr. Rutayisire then told delegates that the “Osaka-Kansai region is the best place to work together to make a better future, respecting individual values and cultures” and that thanks to the skills and technologies he has learnt in Osaka, he will be promoting development in his home country, Rwanda.

Ekaterinburg, Russia

Four speakers presented delegates with Russia’s Expo 2025 bid: journalist Vladimir Pozner, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, the founder of the Russian National Ballet School, Ilze Liepa, and the head of the Bid Committee, Svetlana Sagaydak.


Highlighting the key features of Ekaterinburg, a “modern, dynamic city” that is one of Russia’s cultural and educational hubs, Mr. Manturov emphasised the capacity of the city to organise an event such as a World Expo.

Ekaterinburg “dreams about hosting the Expo”, added Ms. Liepa, while Mr. Pozner stated that hosting an Expo was “a matter of national pride” for Russia.

With a site that would be a “prototype of a future world”, Expo 2025 in Ekaterinburg would showcase technologies that serve “the only goal, the happiness of humankind.” Highlighting the proposed theme, “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations”, Ms. Sagaydak drew delegates’ attention to the importance of technology as the basis for innovation, and in uniting and simplifying lives, rather than complicating them.

Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s Expo bid was presented by a delegation including the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Baku Expo 2025 Bid Committee, Samir Sharifov, the head of International Relations of the Bid Committee, Dr. Maryam Garfarzada, and the head of the Expo 2025 Baku Task Force, Elchin Amirbayov.


Delegates were informed about Azerbaijan’s vision for the Expo 2025 site, which would be set between two growing suburbs of Baku. The eight-pointed start shaped area “will be transformed into a major extension of the city with a fully integrated transport infrastructure”, according to Mr. Amirbayov.

With its theme, “Developing Human Capital, Building a Better Future”, focus would be put on the people who drive economies, communities and creativity, according to Dr. Garfarzada, who added that it is essential to “look beyond technology.” Through its three subthemes – Talent, Vitality and Achievement – the Expo would aim to answer questions relating to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the 2030 deadline approaches.

 Expo 2025 Baku would besides “capture the diversity of humanity and give all nations the opportunity to participate”, added Mr. Sharifov, who stressed the fact that the bid project enjoys the support of the civil society, the business community, and the Government.

Greater Paris, France

France’s bid project for Expo 2025 was presented by a group of “youth ambassadors” from across the world and by Cédric Villani, a mathematician and French MP.


Drawing on the global interest of France’s Expo bid, young speakers from countries including Morocco, Colombia, the Philippines and Italy told delegates about why they are backing France’s bid, with a notable emphasis on the role given to younger people to help create the future.

France’s vision for the Expo was demonstrated through a video presenting the site with a message that hospitality would be the Expo’s foremost value, driven by the proposed theme “Sharing our Knowledge, Caring for our Planet.” This was further developed by Mr. Villani, who declared that the choice of the site in Saclay, which he represents, reflects the construction of a project “which will be both about the knowledge-based emergence of the future, and about the preservation of our fragile planet.” Mr. Villani added that these two goals should help each other, as “knowledge and new technologies will be used…to help the preservation of the planet.” 



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Things that Expo does better than the Olympics:

  • It lasts for six months rather than three weeks, which gives the host city a real chance to collect enough ticket revenue to pay for their capital costs. When Seattle hosted in 1962 both the Space Needle and the Seattle Center Monorail paid off their construction costs with ticket revenue during the fair.
  • Cities can choose to built stuff that makes sense for them in the long term rather than white elephants they don't need. Paris building the Eiffel Tower for the 1889 Exposition Universelle is a great example. San Francisco or New York could build new public housing and use it as temporary exhibit spaces during a world's fair, for example.
  •  Cities can choose a theme that makes sense for them. The Olympics force a lot of sports on countries that do not actually like those sports very much. Expo hosts can pick something that makes sense for them: for example food was the theme of Expo 2015 in Milan. Getting Italians to care about pizza, pasta and wine is a lot easier than interesting them in speed skating or archery.
  • The hosting cost is lower for an Expo than the Olympics if the host city isn't stupid.

Things that are a problem for Expo:

  • This Olympics are massively popular around the world despite the criticism of the IOC, and bring in large television revenues and sponsorship in addition to eyeballs. Few people today travel to attend the world's fairs. 
  • Expo was massively popular up until the era of television because working class people had no other way to access the rest of the world. With cheap jet flights and the internet that's no longer the case today. One and a half weeks work at minimum wage in Seattle earns enough to buy a round-trip ticket to Paris. And you can explore the world from a personal computer if you don't feel like flying.
  • Top-down design and creative freedom are a recipe for disaster. Politicians who want to host an expo typically bid first and then figure out what to do with the expo afterwards. This leads to poorly defined and managed expos like Knoxville 1982 and Hannover 2000.
  • Cities typically go way, way too big with their plans for world's fairs and overbuild. The fact that well planned expos can run at a profit even after capital costs is dependent upon cities being wise and frugal. Since the politicians and organizers who want mega-events are typically egomaniacs this rarely happens.
  • World class cities like Shanghai and New York have typically fared a bit worse with the legacy of their expos than third-tier cities like Lisbon, Seattle and Vancouver. That makes it harder to sell the public in the world's best cities on bidding.

If you put a gun to my head and forced me to pick one for my city to host, I would pick Expo even though it's kind of obsolete. I was genuinely tempted to go to Expo 2015 in Milan.


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I agree with most of the above.

It seems an Expo leaves a more readily usable legacy.  In Brisbane we have a lovely stretch of parkland and a man-made beach right up against the river in the inner city thanks to the 1988 Expo.  Lisbon has good legacy from theirs.  Shanghai... is a work in progress...

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On 11/24/2018 at 8:15 PM, thatsnotmypuppy said:

I agree with most of the above.

It seems an Expo leaves a more readily usable legacy.  In Brisbane we have a lovely stretch of parkland and a man-made beach right up against the river in the inner city thanks to the 1988 Expo.  Lisbon has good legacy from theirs.  Shanghai... is a work in progress...

Agree...Went to Expo88. It was awesome. It had a huge beacon light you could see flashing over 100kms away.

New Zealand's pavilion was considered the best and put the country on the map.

After the Expo closed, they packed up the pavilion and brought it home and reassembled it beside Auckland Airport (AKL).

There are still bits of it left in Brizzy and agree that the legacy is a good one.

NZ last hosted a "sanctioned" Expo in 1925 in Dunedin and it's legacy is beautiful sports grounds including the current University Cricket Oval, now the main Cricket ground in the south.


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