Joy for Japan as Osaka is picked to host 2025 World Expo, beating Yekaterinburg and Baku

  • It will be the second time that Osaka has hosted the World Exposition
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2018, 1:08am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2018, 2:12am

Osaka will host the 2025 World Expo, after beating Russia’s Yekaterinburg and Azerbaijan’s Baku, making it the second time the international fair will be held in the Japanese city.

Members of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris held a vote on Friday after representatives from the three candidate cities made final presentations of their proposals earlier in the day.

The World Expo events, which cost millions of dollars to prepare and last up to six months, can help shine a spotlight on host cities, drawing visitors from home and abroad.

After no clear winner emerged in the first round of ballots, the second round saw Osaka face off against Yekaterinburg, with Japan securing 92 votes to Russia’s 61.

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“The people of Osaka-Kansai are prepared. They are ready to welcome you all, let us have fun together in Osaka-Kansai,” Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, told the organisation during the final presentations.

The fairs, whose themes aim to raise awareness and address global issues, take place every five years. Milan hosted the 2015 event and the next fair will held in Dubai in 2020. There are also Specialised Expos held in between.

Osaka, which hosted the 1970 World Expo, pitched the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, looking at areas such as extending healthy lifespans as well as education and employment in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence.

The city has proposed holding the event on the artificial island of Yumeshima between May 3 and November 3, 2025, and predicts it will attract about 28 million visitors.

Neither Azerbaijan nor Russia has previously hosted an expo.

The French government had sought to host the 2025 exposition in Paris, but withdrew its candidacy earlier this year, citing financial concerns.

The 1970 Osaka Expo was attended by around 64 million people, the second largest in history after the Shanghai Expo in 2010. Japan most recently hosted the event in 2005 in central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture.

Additional reporting by Kyodo