Expo 2025
Masterplan of Expo 2025 site Image Credit: Courtesy Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition

As curtains fall on the phenomenally successful Expo 2020 Dubai, the spotlight shifts to the Japanese port city of Osaka in the Kansai region, gearing up to host the next edition of World Expo in 2025.

With just over 1,000 days to go until Japan welcomes the world for the mega event, preparations are in full swing in this bustling metropolis.

Japan’s Minister for World Expo 2025, Wakamiya Kenji, paid a visit to Expo 2020 Dubai earlier this month to experience how this unique event connected cultures and nations from around the world. He also spoke about Japan’s preparation for the upcoming Expo, scheduled to take place from April 13 to October 13, in 2025, and welcome 150 countries and 25 international organisations.

Dubai has also pledged to contribute to the success of Expo 2025 Osaka-Kansai by sharing its experience of hosting the event amid Covid-19 and support the event’s efforts to create a unique future for the world.

In 2018, Japan won the bid to host the World Expo, beating the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. The upcoming Expo will be the third time Osaka will be hosting the global event after two successful editions in 1970 and 1990.

We would like to design a bright future society and create an expo that presents a new era to the world.

- Kenji Yamanaka, Executive Director Extraordinary, International Relations Bureau, Expo 2025

“Expo 1970 Osaka was a platform for Japan and the participating countries to raise their national prestige, whereas Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, will be an opportunity to overcome the divisions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that has impacted people all over the world. It will also be a place where the world’s knowledge on cutting-edge technology will be brought together to create new ideas that can help solve key global issues,” says Kenji Yamanaka, Executive Director Extraordinary, International Relations Bureau, Expo 2025.

The theme of Expo 2025 — Designing Future Society for Our Lives – has gained greater significance since the outbreak of the pandemic, says Yamanaka.

“We would like to design a bright future society and create an expo that presents a new era to the world.”

Expo 2025 has set People’s Living Lab as a concept to realise the theme. “We would like to showcase a vision of future society through the implementation of mobility, virtual reality, and advanced systems for sustainable site management.”

While commenting on how the experience of participating at Expo 2020 Dubai will shape Japan’s preparation for Expo 2025, Yamanaka says, “Dubai hosted 192 countries — the largest participating number in history. We would like to learn from Expo 2020 on several areas and incorporate these insights in the management of Expo 2025. These include the planning and implementation of support and assistance programmes for participating countries, infectious disease control programme, and services for participants and visitors, and media relations.”

Expo 2025 will offer visitors the opportunities to explore Japan’s stunning landscapes and cultural heritage.

“Yumeshima island is surrounded by the sea on all sides. We would like visitors to not only see the pavilions of participating countries, but also take in the natural beauty of Japan. We invite visitors to stop by the thematic project pavilions under the concept of ‘Brilliance of Life’, where eight experts will express their thoughts on life, as well as the corporate pavilions.”

The Osaka and Kansai area has numerous traditional Japanese temples and scenic spots which will also draw visitors, he says. “We expect travellers to take advantage of the transportation networks to explore various parts of the country and experience Japanese culture.” ■