World Exhibition – (General International Exposition 1st Category)

15/03/1970 - 13/09/1970

Progress and Harmony for Mankind

Official Designation
Japan World Exposition Osaka 1970

Area (ha)


Participants (Countries)


Focus on the need for technological progress to serve Mankind

Registered by the General Assembly of the BIE on 11 May 1966, Expo 1970 Osaka was dedicated to the theme "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." It aimed at paying tribute to and casting a critical eye on technological progress. 

This theme was addressed via four subthemes : For the Fuller Enjoyment of Life, For the Fuller Usage of the Gifts of Nature, For the Fuller Application of Technology in Life and For Better Mutual Understanding.

Great international participation

A record of countries participated in the Expo in addition to many international organizations, 10 provincial and city governments and 32 private firms. Expos being a reflection of the world in one location, the tensions of the Cold War and particularly the rivalry between the USSR and the USA, were tangible.

The Expo's exhibits

Among the most remarkable exhibits were an electron microscope with up to 500,000-fold magnification and the model of a train with an electromagnetic pad capable of going up to 500 km/h (Japan), lunar rock samples (USA), a full-scale nuclear reactor mock-up (UK), the IBM computers and full-scale mock-ups of numerous space vehicles (USA and USSR). The Expo was very much inspired by Science Fiction: giant robots rendered services during the Expo such as lighting and TV-recordings, laser beams were used for data transmission, and the use over 100 computers proclaimed Japan's innovative power in electronics.

The urban development of Osaka

The legacy of the Expo was impressive. Between 1963 and 1969 an artificial residential city, Suita, was created between the city and the Expo grounds. The architectural concept adopted preserved green areas, kept residential areas to a more compact size and guaranteed good transport links to the inner city. It was intended to alleviate the density problems of Osaka. The airport was expanded and an express railroad line between Osaka and Tokyo was renovated. The Shin-Middo-Suji motorway and the railway line joined the centre of the city to the Expo grounds and a new type of computer system was implemented to monitor traffic.