On Saturday, 13 April, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai will mark one year until its grand opening. Ahead of this key milestone, the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes carried out a four-day Technical Visit in Japan to review preparations for the next World Expo.

With construction on the Expo site advancing at full speed and International Participants in the final stages of planning the content of their pavilions, the visit was an opportunity for the Secretary General to discuss the Expo’s progress and technical steps with Organiser and key decision makers.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, with the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry of Japan, Ken Saito, in Tokyo on 8 April. Image courtesy of METI.

In Tokyo, the Secretary General met with the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry, Ken Saito and the Expo Minister, Hanako Jimi. Meetings were also held with the Commissioner-General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji Haneda, and Chairman and Representative Director of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, Masakazu Tokura. These discussions focused on preparations and initiatives aiming at building momentum towards the Expo, and on efforts to ensure the Expo’s impact resonates across Japan and around the world.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri S. Kerkentzes (centre right), with Japan’s Minister for Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Hanako Jimi (centre left), the Commissioner-General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji Haneda (left) and the Secretary General of the Japan Association for Expo 2025, Hiroyuki Ishige (right) in Tokyo on 11 April.
 

Travelling to Osaka on 9-11 April, the Secretary General was received by representatives of local government including the Governor of Osaka Prefecture, Hirofumi Yoshimura, and the Mayor of Osaka, Hideyuki Yokoyama. Technical meetings were also held with the Expo Organiser including the Secretary General of the Japan Association for Expo 2025, Hiroyuki Ishige.

On 10 April, a groundbreaking ceremony on the site of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai marked the launch of construction of Germany’s pavilion. © German Pavilion / Tasseer Badri

A visit to the Expo site, on Yumeshima Island was also organised, allowing the Secretary General to see the progress made so far and the outlines of pavilions as well as to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony marking the launch of construction on Germany’s pavilion. Construction of the large wooden ring, the main symbol of the Expo site, is now more than 70 per cent complete, and work is well underway on major facilities and thematic pavilions.

Regarding international participants, the construction of self-built pavilions was launched at the end of 2023 and Organiser-built pavilions are set to be delivered in the coming months. The next International Participants Meeting gathering the 170 countries and international organisations taking part in the Expo is set to take place in June 2024, in order to discuss progress, coordinate activities and address any outstanding questions ahead of the Expo’s opening on 13 April 2025.

The Secretary General stated: “All efforts are being deployed to make Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai a transformational and truly innovative event showcasing the future potential for people and the planet. With one year to go, we are poised to deliver a World Expo that will inspire millions and leave a lasting impact on Future Society.”

The one-year countdown is being marked by a series of events and promotional activities in Osaka and further afield, and is being accompanied by the first major marketing campaign since ticket sales for the Expo were launched in November 2023.

World Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai will take place on a 155-ha site on Yumeshima Island between 13 April and 13 October 2025. The Expo will address the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”, with its three subthemes being Saving Lives, Empowering Lives and Connecting Lives.