The government decided Friday to hold the 2025 World Expo in Osaka from April 13 through Oct. 13, bringing forward the starting day by several weeks from the original plan to avoid congestion during the Golden Week holiday period.
A plan for the expo, including the schedule and other details, will be submitted later this month to the Bureau of International Expositions, the intergovernmental organization in charge of overseeing world expos, for approval at its general meeting in June.
Japan initially sought to hold the event from May 3 to Nov. 3. The annual holiday period runs from late April to early May.
The plan for holding the expo, endorsed by the Cabinet, also states that the venue will be built on some 155 hectares of land on Yumeshima, a man-made island in Osaka Bay.
The main theme of the expo is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” with the three subthemes being “Saving Lives,” “Empowering Lives” and “Connecting Lives.”
The event is expected to focus on health and medical technologies and draw 28 million visitors, boosting the local economy by ¥2 trillion ($18 billion) and underpinning the country’s growth after the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The subthemes cover areas including the fight against infectious diseases, promotion of cross-cultural understanding and utilization of artificial intelligence and robots.
The cost for constructing the venue is estimated at a total of ¥125 billion, while the operating cost will be ¥81 billion, according to the plan. The government also said it will seek to avoid extreme commercialism in securing financial resources.
The 1970 expo in Osaka was a huge success, attracting around 64 million visitors — the second most in history after the 2010 Shanghai Expo.