- Q1What is the meaning behind the bid logo?
- A1The logo is made up of five smiling faces (emoji). They represent smiling faces full of vitality from around the world (i.e. the five major continents) in a circle, connected to one another. Emoji actually originated in Japan.
- Q2Why does Japan want to host the Expo?
- A2By making Expo 2025 Osaka a place where we can accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, Japan wants to make a significant contribution to the world.
We feel that with our rapidly graying population and new technological advances in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), Japan needs to rethink what society should be like. Specifically, the Japanese government is working with the private sector to apply technologies such as AI, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) in building a hyper-smart society—also known as Society 5.0 (see Q8)—where everyone can be healthy and live up to their potential. This hyper-smart society we aspire to will also achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forth by the United Nations.
The year 2025 is five years before 2030, the target year for fulfilling the SDGs. By hosting the Expo 2025 Osaka, Japan wants to work with the people of the world to accelerate initiatives toward achieving the SDGs and contribute to global sustainable growth. We also wish to make the Expo a fantastic opportunity to share this bright vision for a future society with the world's people.
- Q3What are the benefits of participating in Expo 2025 Osaka?
- A3(1) The first benefit is that you will be able to share your country's knowledge and ideas about achieving the SDGs—a matter of worldwide concern—and promote your country's thinking.
(2) The second benefit is that you can introduce yourself to Japan and Asian markets, which are experiencing remarkable growth. While the population of Japan is around 120 million, nearby we have China, which is now the world's second-largest economy, and South Korea, home to companies with a global presence. In addition to visitors from these countries, we also expect many people from ASEAN states and other countries in the region to come to the Expo. Japan is meanwhile experiencing growth in inbound tourism, especially from Asia, with 6.22 million visitors in 2011, 28.69 million in 2017, and a target of 60 million by 2030. When these tourists visit the Expo and come to your country's pavilion, it could lead to business. Participating in Expo 2025 Osaka will grant access to the massive markets of Asia, while also presenting a major opportunity to introduce your country's culture, tourism, business and technology. The year 2025 is also a great time to hold an Expo in East Asia, as recent Expos have been in Europe (Milan 2015) and the Middle East (Dubai 2020).
(3) The third benefit is the ease of exhibiting at the Expo. When exhibiting, it is important to address the specific needs of each country running a pavilion. Japan can do this, thanks to our extensive experience hosting this event in the past.
Specifically, Japan has appointed contact persons in charge of the Expo at Japanese embassies around the world to build a network for smooth communication in the preparatory stages. During the exhibition as well, we will be able to swiftly resolve any problems or issues that arise.
(4) The fourth benefit, which other countries bidding to host the Expo are not offering, is an online platform we will set up so we can stream the exhibits, conferences, events and other happenings at the venue to the world in real time. By participating in Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, you will not only be able to promote your country to the estimated 28 million visitors, but also to the people of the world. We will also provide developing countries with assistance in producing content to stream.
- Q4-1This would be Japan's fifth time to host the Expo, so shouldn't Japan give the opportunity to a city that has never hosted one, such as Baku or Yekaterinburg? What is the point of holding it in Osaka for a third time?
- A4-1The number of past Expos held also indicates how reassured you can be in the host country's ability to host and organize the event. Japan, and Osaka in particular, has vast experience hosting such international events. That means we have built up a knowledge base on how to handle matters such as security, which we can apply to make the Expo a smooth operation.
The important thing is that the Expo has enriched content and that many countries can feel reassured about participating. Japan believes that the theme for the Expo 2025 Osaka is a matter that warrants our attention, especially at the present time, and that the theme has a powerful message that will spur action toward achieving the SDGs.
Meanwhile, the last three countries awarded with an Expo have all been first-time hosts: Kazakhstan (2017), the UAE (2020) and Argentina (2023). Having an experienced host like Japan hold the Expo at regular intervals will imbue Expos with fresh motivation to do better than before. Japan will present the Expo as a People's Living Lab (PLL), a laboratory for future society. This theme, which according to a report by the BIE Enquiry Mission has been positively received, will enable the Expo to engage in experimentation while exhibiting countries collaborate with visitors.
- Q4-2There is discussion to hold the Expo in a country that has never hosted one before, motivate that country to do a good job, and bring in new ideas to the Expo.
- A4-2Looking back on Japan's experience, when we first hosted the Expo at Expo 1970 Osaka, a large part of its significance was a message to the world that Japan had joined the ranks of advanced nations, but this time, we will work on a new concept, the People's Living Lab (PLL), and examine how Japan can contribute to the world by helping to achieve the SDGs.
In addition, our vast experience as a host means we can run things smoothly while paying meticulous attention to the needs of the diverse participants. The core of the PLL is "co-creation" by a diverse body of participants, and the success of this new initiative is further assured by Japan's extensive experience.
- Q5What will the Japanese government do for Expo 2025 Osaka?
- A5The Japanese government has been fully committed since Osaka's candidacy was first announced. The Prime Minister has ordered relevant ministries and agencies to do everything they can to offer support. (In fact, when Osaka announced its candidacy to host Expo 2025, the Cabinet understood that Japan would take the necessary steps to fulfill the obligations of a host country's government.) When we submitted the candidacy application to the BIE, a letter from Prime Minister Abe assured that Japan will carry out its obligations as a host country. Furthermore, Diet members have formed a multi-partisan alliance to implement the Expo bid. These actions show that all of Japan—the government, the Diet, local governments, the business community and ordinary citizens—are working on the Expo bid.
- Q6How would you describe the support from the local community and the excitement within Japan?
- A6Local support for hosting the Expo exceeds 80% (according to a survey of residents of Osaka Prefecture). Additionally, the Expo bid enjoys official support from the National Governors' Association and the National Association of Chairpersons of Prefectural Assemblies. These are all indicators that momentum behind the Expo bid is growing nationwide.
The Chairman of the 2025 Japan World Expo Committee, whose members include the business community and local governments (Osaka Prefecture and the City of Osaka) is Sadayuki Sakakibara, who concurrently serves as the Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (also known as Keidanren). The bid has the full backing of the business community. As of April 2018, the number of individual members on the committee is already over 1.16 million strong and growing.
- Q7What is Japan doing to achieve the SDGs?
- A7In May 2016, Japan established the SDGs Promotion Headquarters, headed by the Prime Minister and staffed by all cabinet ministers. The headquarters' aim is to unify the government in achieving the SDGs by formulating the SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles and identifying the priority areas and concrete actions to take.
* Priority Areas and Policies
1. Empowerment of all people, 2. achievement of good health and longevity, 3. creating growth market, revitalization of rural areas, and promoting technological innovation, 4. sustainable and resilient land use, promoting quality infrastructure, 5. energy conservation, renewable energy, climate change measures, and sound material-cycle society, 6. conservation of environment, including biodiversity, forests and the oceans, 7. achieving peaceful, safe and secure societies, 8. strengthening the means and frameworks of the implementation of the SDGs.
Example: The new Japan SDGs Award is a way for Prime Minister Abe and other officials to recognize companies and organizations both in Japan and abroad that are taking exceptional action to achieve the SDGs, and for the country to support the companies and private organizations that are doing their utmost for the SDGs in all ways.
- Q8What is Society 5.0 that Japan seeks to create?
- A8Society 5.0 is a new vision of society that follows up on the four preceding stages: the hunter-gatherer society (1.0), the agrarian society (2.0), the industrial society (3.0) and the information society (4.0). To be more specific, in Society 5.0 we will use technology founded on big data such as AI, robotics, and IoT to address modern issues such as graying populations, food supply issues, and global warming. By so doing, we will have a sustainable society where everyone can lead vibrant, high-quality lives.
- Q9The report by the BIE Enquiry Mission stated that while the theme focuses on technological innovation, it needs more specifics to make it more accessible to developing countries. Is this point, which was made in the Enquiry Mission's report, being taken into consideration?
- A9Japan's theme is a wide-ranging one, as it is about contribution to achieve the SDGs. The focus is more on “Human Lives” than on technological innovation. Our attention is especially directed toward the following three areas:
(1) “Saving Lives” by reducing infectious diseases and coping with aging populations (e.g. medical care employing state-of-the-art technology such as genomics and nanotechnology, initiatives to live with better sanitation),
(2) “Empowering Lives” by demonstrating the potential of human beings through advancements in AI and robotics (e.g. robotics to help the elderly and disabled remain active, education using AI and IT), and
(3) “Connecting Lives” by linking diverse people together (e.g. communication through new tools such as automatic translation, conferences and festivals open to the entire world through the use of VR).
As during the Aichi Expo, we plan to dispatch consultants as necessary to assist with developing countries' exhibitions. We want to help you do a good job of promoting your country to the people of Asia, and find ways to connect that to your country's development. (As needed, we will want it to be an introduction. See the example in Attachment 1.)
YUMESHIMA / VENUE
- Q10What transportation provides access to Osaka?
- A10There are three airports within one hour of the City of Osaka: Kansai International Airport, Itami Airport and Kobe Airport. Of those, Kansai International Airport operates 24 hours a day and provides regular flights on routes to 82 cities in 24 countries. Traveling from Tokyo, flights from Narita Airport and Haneda Airport reach Osaka in an hour, while the Shinkansen high-speed rail takes 2 hours 30 minutes.
- Q11How does one travel from the City of Osaka to Yumeshima? Isn't it important to secure priority traffic lanes for shuttle buses, as pointed out in the BIE Enquiry Mission's report?
- A11There are two road routes—a bridge and an undersea tunnel—from the city to Yumeshima. We will also ensure a third route on a new subway alongside the road, via a rail tunnel that already exists. (After finalizing the Expo host, we will expand the current road from two lanes to three lanes of traffic in each direction, and extend the subway.)
In addition, we will consider making use of Yumeshima's status as an artificial island to add access over the water from airports and the city center during the time of the Expo.
We believe it is possible to smoothly transport visitors to and from the Expo by properly controlling the operation of subways and shuttle buses, but if traffic is congested on certain days, we will consider imposing the necessary traffic restrictions to ensure priority lanes.
- Q12Yumeshima has a bridge, a road tunnel and a subway, but is that enough? Will these be able to cope with an evacuation in the event of an earthquake or other emergency?
- A12All facilities and infrastructure are built with a high level of seismic resistance. We will produce evacuation plans for each type of conceivable disaster scenario. If some sort of disaster or other emergency does occur, and people are forced to remain on Yumeshima for a certain time, visitors will be guided to a proper evacuation shelter (ideally to a plaza at the venue, etc.) and we will provide them with food and other necessities prepared in advance.
- Q13Is Yumeshima designed so that even a tsunami will not cause any problems?
- A13At Yumeshima's location, even in the event of the largest conceivable earthquake, the highest a tsunami could be is 3.2 meters. Yumeshima's ground level is approximately 5 meters higher than the assumed highest tsunami point, so there will be no problem.
- Q14What is Yumeshima's current status? (Is it already being used for another purpose? Is land reclamation still in progress?)
- A14The island itself has been largely built and part of it is already in use as a container terminal. Land reclamation is still underway on a portion of the planned Expo site, but that work is scheduled to conclude in fiscal 2022 (April 2022 – March 2023) and we will then start constructing the venue, all in time to hold the Expo.
- Q15What from the Expo site will remain as a legacy for future generations?
- A15The rail infrastructure extended for the Expo, as well as the green area within the venue, will remain. The pavilions will generally be dismantled and urban development will commence under a new plan to create a zone with industrial and business functions. In addition, we will consider reusing the plaza and other Expo facilities in an environmentally-friendly way.
Furthermore, through the online platform, the Expo will leave behind an intangible legacy in the form of the ideas gained through participant interaction. At the same time, so as to implement the online platform site's ideas, we envision perpetuating the activities to solve issues both in Japan and abroad.
- Q16We have heard that an integrated resort (IR; a special tourism complex containing a casino) will be built on the site of the Expo. Is holding the Expo premised on building the IR?
- A16There is no direct connection between holding the Expo and building an IR containing a casino. Each one is an independent project. The planned Expo site and the planned IR site are completely separate.
- Q17There are only two entrances to the venue that are open to regular visitors. Can congestion be avoided at the entrances and bring visitors into the venue smoothly during peak times, an issue pointed out by the Enquiry Mission's report?
- A17We will consider a system that completes check-in procedures, including security inspections of bags, at a separate location from the venue to prevent visitors from having to wait outside the venue entrance. Specifically, visitors who use the shuttle bus connecting the off-site parking area with the venue would complete check-in before boarding the bus. Bus passengers would then go straight into the venue smoothly via a separate entrance from the two for regular visitors.
After the host country is finalized, we plan to further examine how to streamline entry procedures. For example, we could predict specific visitor numbers, then use those figures to provide visitors with congestion forecasts.
- Q18What type of pavilion exhibitions will be available?
- A18There will be three types of exhibitions.
(1) Exhibitors will build a pavilion for their country (or company) on site leased from the organizer.
(2) Exhibitors will use modules, which will be constructed by the organizers.
(3) Use an organizer-built shared pavilion with multiple exhibitors.
- Q19What is the difference between a module and an organizer-built shared pavilion?
- A19Both are designed to help developing countries and other exhibitors who may have difficulties building a single-country pavilion from the ground up (see (1) above). A module is a basic building constructed by the organizers. On their own, the exhibitor will rent the building, prepare the interior and exterior finishes, and exhibit. In an organizer-built shared pavilion, on the other hand, an exhibitor will rent part of the building's floor space to exhibit. We imagine that multiple countries would exhibit in an organizer-built shared pavilion.
- Q20Will it be possible to make an organizer-built shared pavilion into a regional pavilion (e.g. a Central & South American pavilion)?
- A20To make a regional pavilion, we believe we would need to confirm with all the participating countries from the region, but if that is their wish, then we will do our best to accommodate their wish.
DEVELOPING COUNTRY SUPPORT
- Q21What are the significant points of Japan's developing country assistance program?
- A21The assistance will amount to 187 million euros (1 euro = 128 yen). This is not only the largest amount offered by the candidate countries, but also larger than that offered by any past Expo host country or candidate. Furthermore, Japan's program offers assistance to a wider range of countries when compared to other candidates' programs. Our program is also more appealing than those of other candidates in terms of the number of eligible countries and forms of assistance.
Meanwhile, even if your country is not included among the assistance-eligible countries, Japan will listen attentively to your requests and work to accommodate them as much as possible. Accordingly, just because your country may not be listed among the assistance-eligible countries does not necessarily mean you cannot receive any assistance whatsoever. While the number of assistance-eligible countries is limited to 100, that is not a hard cap, as we would like to assist as many countries as we can.
- Q22What is the extent (or definition) of developing countries that can receive assistance?
- A22We are referring to the definition of developing countries used by organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
- Q23To what extent will Japan assist with costs associated with pavilion exhibitions?
- A23We are still considering specifics, but the following is our general idea (see Attachment 1):
(1) Module and organizer-built shared pavilion construction costs (i.e. rent), design, decoration (interior and exterior) and removal costs
(2) Operating costs (venue maintenance, venue attendants, interpreting, security personnel costs, exhibition consultants, utilities [power, water, insurance])
(3) Curator travel and accommodation expenses
(4) Travel and accommodation expenses for staff and other personnel
- Q24Will there be assistance for the cost of transporting exhibition displays and other items from our country?
- A24Yes. We expect to assist with the cost of transport from your country to Japan, customs-related costs, and transport to the venue.
- Q25The developing country assistance programs of Russia and Azerbaijan mention assistance for Expo-related customs fees, but are these not covered by Japan?
- A25Of course we will cover them. Customs fees apply to exhibition-related and other items at the Expo, not only for developing countries, but for all participating countries, and Japan has already passed legislation to address the matter. Japanese law recognizes the Expo venue as a bonded exhibition area, where, after going through certain procedures, all items provided for the Expo will be treated as tax-exempt. That is why this matter is not mentioned in our developing country assistance program.
- Q26How exactly will consultants for exhibition operate? For example, will Japan send designers or other experts to each country?
- A26As during the Aichi Expo, we will send designers and other experts to countries that request them, listen to the country's thoughts, requests and so forth, and help them implement those ideas in their exhibition.
- Q27What are venue attendants? Will the organizers provide them, or do we have to send them?
- A27These are Japanese personnel arranged by the organizers. They will provide guidance and interpreting services inside the module pavilions and organizer-built shared pavilions.
- Q28As for staff and other individuals from our country receiving assistance for travel and so forth costs, which individuals exactly does Japan have in mind? Also, how many people can receive this support?
- A28In addition to the Section Commissioner-General* and Pavilion Director, we will consider assistance for a few other individuals.
* As stipulated by Article 13 of the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions, the Section Commissioner-General is charged by the exhibiting country's government with responsibility for the country's exhibitions at a registered Expo. The primary duties include supervision over participation in the section, prior negotiation with the host country, signing and concluding agreements on participation, and so forth.
- Q29hat happens during pre-training of staff?
- A29Staff are provided an overview of the Expo, and explanations on life in Japan and other matters. This will help them interact with local residents.
- Q30Will staff and other personnel get expedited procedures for issuing visas, display item customs (tax exemptions, etc.) and the like?
- A30Visas will be issued to staff and other personnel without delay in order to prevent any problems with the exhibits. Furthermore, we will take certain measures such as exemptions to customs and consumption tax that will apply to display items and the like.
- Q31The Expo Village will be constructed as accommodations for staff and other personnel, but where will it be built? And will its usage be free of charge?
- A31Rather than constructing new buildings, we will secure public housing and overnight accommodations in the city center, as well as accommodations on Sakishima, an island across from Yumeshima and connected via an undersea tunnel. Use of Expo Village will not be free of charge, but support will make the cost of the stay essentially free for the Section Commissioner-General, Pavilion Director and a certain number of other individuals from developing countries. In addition, individuals involved with the exhibition can ride a dedicated shuttle bus for free to travel to and from the venue (each trip taking about a minimum of 10 minutes).
- Q32Will there be accommodations in Osaka (or Kansai) to accommodate Expo visitors?
- A32We anticipate enough capacity for peak demand during the Expo. Specifically, in addition to current facilities handling 341,000 people per day, we expect construction of new facilities that will add capacity of at least 24,000 people per day. Furthermore, since we expect some visitors to make use of vacation rentals and other options, we believe the region can handle anticipated peak demand of 364,000 people per day.
- Q33Will hotels be built on Yumeshima?
- A33There are plans to build a hotel on the water within the venue at Yumeshima. The scale of the hotel is still under consideration.
- Q34What did the BIE Enquiry Mission's report contain?
- A34Japan welcomed a BIE Enquiry Mission in early March. After meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the business community and the multi-partisan Diet members alliance, and a tour of the planned venue site on Yumeshima, we showed the Enquiry Mission the allure of Osaka and the Kansai region as a candidate host site for the Expo. On May 12, the Enquiry Mission's findings were provided to member states in the form of a report. It assessed Japan's plan as "viable" and that it is in line with BIE rules. (Note: Russia and Azerbaijan's plans were also deemed "viable.")
We believe the report gave high marks to the appeal of Japan's plans to host the Expo. For example, it stated that: the theme is "timely" and "can appeal" to many countries; the venue plan is appealing and well thought out; the People's Living Lab is an effective approach in terms of collaboration between participating countries on themes, exhibition content and so forth; the use of universal design that Japan is considering and a barrier-free Expo are in line with BIE ideals.
- Q35Estimate of 28 million visitors seems too low.
- A35The number could be higher, but the figure is justified because it is derived from visitor numbers at past Expos in Japan.
Estimate Breakdown: We expect 24.7 million visitors from within Japan and 3.5 million from other countries, for a total of around 28 million. The domestic figure is based on past Expos in Japan with more than 20 million visitors. Meanwhile, the number of foreign visitors is based on the proportion of total visitors which travelers from abroad accounted for at past Expos in Japan, as well as estimates on the number of total foreign visitors to Japan in 2025.
- Q36The breakdown of visitor numbers (i.e. the share of Japanese visitors and foreign visitors as a percentage of all visitors) seems to require careful scrutiny. It could be too conservative, as pointed out by the Enquiry Mission's report.
- A36The number of visitors and the breakdown are estimates based on data including the visitors to past Expos and other events held in Japan, local population figures, numbers on foreign tourists, venue area and other information. Therefore, we believe the estimate is rational. In any case, once the host country is finalized, we plan to conduct a detailed study.
- Q37How will Japan take care of the environment? Will the Expo be an environmentally-friendly one?
- A37We will take advantage of Yumeshima's location to make maximum use of renewable energy such assolar farm (large-scale power storage system) and ocean thermal energy, and proactively incorporate advanced green technology such as seawater desalination. During planning, we will formulate an environmentally-friendly project plan based on an environmental impact survey that takes citizen and expert opinions into account.
- Q38What anti-terrorism measures will Japan take? And will these measures significantly slow down the venue entry process?
- A38The Japanese government, local governments and the organizers will work together to ensure thorough security measures are put in place. Crime rates have always been low in Japan compared to the rest of the world, so tourists visiting from your country, as well as your staff, will be able to enjoy a safe stay of several months in Japan.
To be more specific, in addition to normal security checks, we will utilize the latest technology at the time, such as fingerprint authentication and facial recognition systems, to conduct speedy and proper security checks.
- Q39Will halal meals be available?
- A39Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai will provide a comfortable setting for Muslim exhibitors and visitors. For example, halal-certified food will be served at the venue. Osaka already has numerous restaurants serving halal-certified foods and prayer spaces. It will be a very comfortable city for staff members to stay in for six months or longer.
- Q40Are construction costs in Japan higher than in Azerbaijan?
- A40Construction costs in Japan are about the same as in Azerbaijan, and if the host country builds a pavilion, it will be less expensive here than in Azerbaijan. See details below.
(1) There are three types of pavilions: self-built pavilions, organizer-built pavilions and shared pavilions. (In Japan's bid dossier [BD], these were expediently referred to as Type A, Type B and Type C.) Type A is a pavilion built by the participating country. Types B and C are both pavilions built by the host country. We would expect Type C to be shared by multiple participating countries.
(2) Self-Built Pavilion (Type A)
In this case, the participating country will build its own pavilion on the site provided by the host country. The cost will not differ much between Japan and Azerbaijan.
Although the wording of Japan's BD and Azerbaijan's BD seems to indicate a difference in costs (~2.4 billion yen in Japan, ~1.2 billion yen in Azerbaijan; see the "Reference" section below), the preconditions are very different.
・The cost in the Japanese BD includes "removal" and "exhibit installation" costs,* whereas Azerbaijan's BD does not include these costs. Japan estimates nearly $10 million of these expenses, so when these costs are deleted, the cost when compared to Azerbaijan is not so different. Note that both Japan and Azerbaijan plan to provide pavilion sites free of charge.
* "Exhibit installation" includes the costs of construction required for exhibiting, such as: interior and exterior finishes, signage, lighting, sound system and exhibit displays.
REFERENCE – Cost Comparison (Type A, Largest Pavilion in Both Countries' BDs)
Site area (m2)
Building area (m2)
Fixture and fittings, system equipment
(interior display: 660 / building: 739)
(3) Organizer-Built Pavilion (Type B)
A pavilion built with this type of design is a basic, box-like structure called a "module." The users decorate the exterior and interior themselves. Japan can provide modules that are larger and less expensive than Azerbaijan's. Specifically, the Japanese module ranges in site area from 500 to 2,000 m2, at a rate of $450/m2, while Azerbaijan is planning to supply modules with a floor space of 350 to 1,000 m2, at a rate of 550 euros/m2 (approximately $661/m2). Therefore, Japan offers a more reasonable arrangement.
Furthermore, one major feature of Japan's venue plan is that the pavilion site design is flexible, so we can easily change the space allocated to each country. If your country needs a module bigger than the ones envisioned in Japan's BD, we are flexible and ready to examine how we can accommodate.
(4) Shared Pavilion (Type C)
As this type is primarily intended for use by multiple developing countries, Japan's support for developing countries means that use of this pavilion will not incur any cost.
(5) Furthermore, Osaka and the wider Kansai region are major tourist magnets among travelers from Asia, so we can expect many visitors to the Expo venue from countries such as China, South Korea and ASEAN member states. Moreover, Panasonic and other global companies have their headquarters here. The health care sector in Kansai is meanwhile conducting cutting-edge research in areas such as regenerative medicine. Osaka and the Kansai region is the right place for your country's companies to make closer partnerships with firms from Japan and elsewhere in Asia, and to expand into Asian markets. When assessing pavilion related costs, we hope you will take a holistic view and consider not only the initial construction costs, but also the impact to be gained from the Expo.