Japan is seeking to attract inbound tourists, particularly wealthy travelers from Southeast Asia, to visit rural areas in and around Osaka and Kyoto prefectures when the 2025 World Exposition is held in western Japan.

The industry ministry's branch in Osaka invited officials of travel companies in Thailand and Malaysia in late February to a program that included sightseeing beyond the usual trips downtown. They were also briefed about the expo by its organizers.

The idea is to promote tour packages tied to the World Expo, slated to take place from April 13 to Oct. 13, 2025, on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay.