As recovery efforts continue following the New Year’s Day earthquake on Ishikawa Prefecture's Noto Peninsula, a debate is growing about whether it would be better to postpone, or even cancel, the troubled 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo and use the money, labor and construction materials for quake-hit communities instead.

The debate comes as parliament prepares to convene on Jan. 26 to approve the fiscal 2024 budget, which will include money for quake relief and rebuilding as well as for the expo, which kicks off in April of next year.

Masakazu Tokura, chair of the powerful business lobby Keidanren as well as chairman and representative director of the expo, paid a visit Thursday to the expo site on Osaka’s Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka bay. Speaking to reporters afterward, he said both quake relief efforts and expo construction should continue to be carried out.