Water transport will be considered to facilitate the movement of visitors to and from Osaka’s 2025 World Expo for improved accessibility, Hiroyuki Ishige, a senior official of its organizing body, said in a recent interview.

A panel of officials from both the public and private sectors will discuss the matter, Ishige, secretary-general of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, said.

Some 28 million people are expected to visit the expo, which will take place on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay, between May and November 2025.

Ishige, while pointing out that subway trains and buses will be the main means of transportation, said the use of boats is possible if their continued use after the expo is assured.

The possibility of using boats “would be high if they are to be used for purposes such as excursion cruises in the Seto Inland Sea after the end of the expo,” he said.

The panel, set up by the association last month, includes officials from the central government, local authorities and railway operators.

The association plans to invite representatives from shipping firms and ferry operators to join discussions on the possibility of water transportation, including how to share costs of building berth facilities.

Ishige said that the expo “will provide a place to test technologies beyond existing ones such as face recognition and mobility.”

“I want the event to be a chance to feel a future society,” he added.

The former industry ministry bureaucrat served as chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization before becoming secretary-general of the expo association last May.

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