When Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui and Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura left for Paris early last week for one final lobbying effort for the 2025 World Expo, they left behind a city and prefecture that remain deeply divided over their most basic political goal — the integration of Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka.

Earlier this month, the two leaders and their local political group, Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka), had hoped a joint prefectural and municipal committee of elected officials from all political parties would discuss a report prepared by researchers at Tokyo-based Kaetsu Gakuen.

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