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With less than five months to go until the host of the 2025 World Expo is decided, Osaka is gearing up for a final push that will include efforts to raise local enthusiasm and draw international attention with financial incentives for countries that can’t afford to attend the event.

But with strong bids by rivals Baku, Azerbaijan, and Ekaterinburg, Russia, and questions growing about why Japan should host a third World Expo following the Osaka and Aichi expos in 1970 and 2005, respectively, the Kansai bid no longer looks like a sure bet. Earlier this month, the three candidates made their final presentations to the 170-member Bureau International des Expositions in Paris.

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