Creating a World Expo for future society
Opening in less than 500 days, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will gather more than 160 international participants on Yumeshima Island to engage visitors on the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. As preparations accelerate and construction gains pace, the Commissioner-General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji HANEDA shares his expectations of the next World Expo and what it will mean for future society.
Koji HANEDA: Preparations are steadily underway to provide society and visitors with a place that will serve as a "People’s Living Lab," reflecting the concept of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.
Construction contracts have been signed for various event halls, the Guest House, Grand Roof (Ring), and pavilions for private sectors and local governments, with construction being launched in turn. Regarding the pavilions of official participants, both Type B and Type C pavilions, accommodating more than 100 countries, will be constructed by the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition. Contractors have already been awarded and construction has begun. Approximately 50 Type A pavilions, to be constructed by participating countries, are also in preparation, with construction contractors steadily being awarded. Each country will now begin full-scale preparations for interiors and exhibits.
In addition, visitors can expect a variety of attractive content at Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. We are considering the use of flying cars (advanced air mobility), the experience of interacting with android robots in the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition's pavilion, regenerative medicine such as cardiac muscle sheets produced from iPS cells, and multilingual translation technology. These fascinating marvels will be announced on a case-by-case basis leading up to the opening of the next World Expo.
On November 30, 500 days before the opening of Expo 2025, we began selling advance tickets and held events in Osaka and Tokyo, and further built momentum using social networking services.
The government, Osaka Prefecture and City, the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, the business community, and official participants will continue to work together to ensure the success of Expo 2025.
Koji HANEDA: The theme of Expo 1970 Osaka was "Progress and Harmony of Mankind", showcasing Japan's economic growth in a standardised, mass-produced, modern industrial society.
At Expo 2005 Aichi, under the theme "Nature’s Wisdom", we presented the end of the modern industrial society characterised by mass production and disposal. Instead, we focused on the protection and restoration of the natural environment nearly lost to the modern industrial society, along with the creation of new wisdom and information transmission activities for the emerging information society.
Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, with its theme of "Designing Future Society for Our Lives", will serve as a People’s Living Lab presenting a new post-Covid world, a view of the landscape of a future society shaped by next-generation technologies and social systems, thereby communicating to the world the potential for innovation in our country.
Our goal is to create an Expo 2025 where visitors can not only "see," but also participate, experience, and engage more than at previous Expos. We aim to bring together the wisdom of the world, stimulating children and grown-ups to take on the next challenge.
Koji HANEDA: Expo 2025 is the first World Expo to be held in the post-Covid era under the theme "Designing Future Society for Our Lives”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the international community, prompting us to re-evaluate our way of living and consider the type of society we should develop, highlighting issues that humanity must address.
"Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will hold great significance as a platform for global participation and action to address pressing issues"
The upcoming Expo will bring together more than 160 countries and international organisations on Yumeshima Island, the Expo venue. Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai aims not only to showcase "products", including those featuring high-end technology, but also to bring together wisdom and ideas from around the world. Japan sees the forthcoming Expo as a significant opportunity to address and resolve global challenges including the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of creating a sustainable future.
Together with participating countries and international organisations, we aspire to harness our collective wisdom to design, experiment and demonstrate the "design of a future society" that we should pass on to the next generation at the Expo 2025 site.
Koji HANEDA: The TEAM EXPO 2025 programme is an initiative that anyone can participate in even before the Expo opens its doors. The programme extends invitations to co-creation challenges, to contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs, and to co-creation partners interested in supporting these challenges, with the overarching goal of realising the theme of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai "Designing Future Society for Our Lives". The objective is to engage all participants in addressing social issues through co-creation. Approximately 1,200 co-creation challenges and 320 partners have already been registered, including individual groups, students, and companies.
"The TEAM EXPO Pavilion has been designated as a place for all participants to showcase the outcome of their co-creation challenges"
In addition, Best Practices, which have also been implemented at past Expos, will be selected from the TEAM EXPO 2025 programme. The Best Practices for Expo 2025 will be evaluated based on their embodiment of the Expo themes and subthemes, their potential for expansion to other regions, their clear and visible impact, and their sustainability and contribution to a better future.
These TEAM EXPO 2025 programmes and Best Practices will all have a platform at the Expo as actions for the future. More specifically, following the concept of “Connecting Expo”, the TEAM EXPO Pavilion has been designated as a place for all participants in the programme to showcase the outcome of their co-creation challenges. We encourage a wide participation in this programme.
Koji HANEDA: Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will showcase the world's most advanced technologies across various domains including advanced multilingual translation, carbon neutrality, life sciences, and mobility. Simultaneous interpretation, hydrogen power generation, cardiac muscle sheets produced from iPS cells, flying cars, and power charging while driving are just a few of the many technologies being considered.
Regarding multilingual translation technology, aside from the existing consecutive translation, ongoing research and development aims to achieve a practical level of simultaneous interpretation by AI, ensuring an Expo experience free from language barriers.
As for carbon neutrality, electricity generated by hydrogen power generation outside the Expo site will be supplied as a demonstration of hydrogen utilisation in the power generation sector.
In the area of life sciences, the local governments of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City plan to exhibit regenerative medicine at the Osaka Healthcare Pavilion, including a heart model using cardiac muscle sheets produced from iPS cells.
In the realm of mobility, efforts are underway to realise a flying car that can operate between two points. Plans are also being made to develop and demonstrate a wireless power supply system for EV buses that can be utilised while the buses are in motion.
The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition and individual pavilions continue to explore many more examples of captivating content that visitors will be able to explore and enjoy at the Expo site.
"The local governments of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City plan to exhibit regenerative medicine at the Osaka Healthcare Pavilion"
Koji HANEDA: In the Signature Project thematic initiative, eight leading producers across various fields will each create pavilions designed to prompt visitors to reflect on "life" and inspire creative action. These producers will also organise events aligned with each theme to further enhance the overall visitor experience.
Alongside the thematic projects, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will feature Theme Weeks following on from the format introduced at Expo 2020 Dubai. Eight themes including health and wellbeing, the future of food and lifestyle, will provide visitors with opportunities to explore solutions to global issues associated with each theme. The culmination will be with the final theme "SDGs + Beyond: Future Society for Life Week" urging visitors to collectively ponder the achievability of the SDGs and envision the future beyond these goals, aligning with the overarching theme of the Expo, "Designing Future Society for Our Lives".
Expos have changed over time from a show-and-tell model to an action-oriented model. With Covid-19 now under control, we anticipate that Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will hold great significance as a platform for global participation and action to address pressing issues. We express our sincere hope that individuals from all corners of the world will actively engage with the Expo.
Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai opens its gates on 13 April 2025. For more information on the Expo and ticketing, visit the official website: expo2025.or.jp