Thursday, March 22, 2018

Osaka's Bid for World Expo 2025

Osaka for World Expo 2025

The World Expo is a recurring event that is organized by Bureau International des Exposition ("BIE"), based in Paris [France]. Like the Olympics it is a major event that showcases different countries and the honor of hosting the event is awarded to different nations after a lengthy bidding process.

The World Expo has been an ongoing effort since the initial World Expo was held in London in 1851. That expo demonstrated remarkable examples of the industrial revolution and "The Great Exhibition"
was held in the famed Crystal Palace of Hyde Park with over 6 million visitors. The World Expo has since been organized by different groups and the time increments between expos is not set as consistently as the 4 year Olympic cycles.

The BIE has several types of expos: World Expo, Specialized Expo and Horticultural Expo.

The last Specialized Expo was held in Kazakstan.
2017 Specialized Expo: Astana, Kazakstan
Theme: Future Energy
Venue Size: 25 hectare
Visitors: 3.98 million

After hosting the 2008 Olympics, China also hosted the 2010 World Expo.
2010 World Expo: Shanghai, China
Theme: Better City, Better Life
Venue Size: 523 hectare
Visitors: 73 million

The Specialized Expos are smaller affairs with a limit on the size of land used and the period of time for which the expo is to be active. The expo is Astana lasted 93 days with about 3000 cultural and "thematic" (the theme being "energy") events which attracted an average of 50,000 visitors per day.

There are four expos that are already slated: 2019 Shanghai, 2020 Dubai, 2022 Amsterdam and 2023 Buenos Aires.

The 2025 World Expo is still in the planning phase with three cities bidding to be the host: Osaka [Japan], Ekaterinburg [Russia] and Baku [Azerbaijan].

Osaka hosted the World Expo in 1970. That expo was held at the site that is now called "Banpakku" near the suburb of Ibaraki, which has enjoyed a recent boom in popularity with the opening of the Expo City shopping development.

Initially, there were four cities bidding for the Expo but Paris [France] dropped out early on. The bidding process has moved on through presentations into an examination phase in which BIE representatives visit the candidate cities. The BIE representatives ("the enquiry mission") arrived for a three day visit on March 5th; meeting with high level government officials in Tokyo, then travelling to the Kyoto to see major tourist and cultural attractions representing Kansai then visiting Osaka to see the presentations for the planned site on Yumeshima Island.

There has been widespread support for the bid around Osaka, the five-petal rainbow cherry blossom logo is a common sight around the city and the office of the prime minister has released promotional videos in English (subtitles in Japanese, English and French).

The 2025 World Expo is going to be following the 2015 Milan World Expo.

2015 World Expo: Milan, Italy
Theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life
Venue Size: 110 hectare
Visitors: 21.5 million 

The Osaka bid outlines the following expectations:
2015 World Expo Candidate: Osaka, Japan
Theme: Designing Future Society for Our Lives
Venue: The southern part of Yumeshima Island (also proposed for the 2008 Olympic bid)
Projected visitors: 28 million

Japan hosted a smaller "Specialised Expo" as recently as 2005 when Aichi prefecture had their expo with the theme of "Nature's Wisdom." After that expo the 173 hectare venue was re-purposed into a park with a pool, skating rink and even a re-creation of the house from the animated film "My Neighbor Totoro."