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News Navigator: How much will it cost to host the World Expo in Osaka?

Yumeshima, a man-made island in Osaka Bay, the planned site for the 2025 World Expo, is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter. (Mainichi/Kentaro Ikushima)

The Mainichi answers common questions readers may have about the costs relating to the World Expo due to be held in Japan in 2025.

Question: Where is the Expo in 2025 going to be held?

Answer: The Japanese government, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments, and the Japanese business community made a successful bid to host the event in the city of Osaka. The venue is a man-made island in Osaka Bay called Yumeshima. The participation of 150 countries and about 28 million visitors are expected during the 185-day Expo period.

Q: How much money is needed for such a big event?

A: According to the Osaka Expo committee's financial plan submitted to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organization that oversees World Expos, the event is expected to cost about 280 billion yen. This includes some 125 billion yen for constructing the venue, 82 billion yen for operation of the event, and 73 billion yen for related business expenses.

Q: What are the related business expenses for?

A: Presently Yumeshima is connected to surrounding land by a single bridge and a single tunnel, and only cars are allowed on the island. It's impossible to welcome millions of visitors to the island in its current state, so the subway is going to be extended to Yumeshima through the existing tunnel. Road maintenance and land development will be necessary at the site, and the Osaka Municipal Government is set to pay for that as a related business expense.

Q: Is that all the money that's needed to hold the Expo?

A: Some more funds not included in the financial plan appear to be necessary. The central government has promised that it will earmark about 24 billion yen to support the participation of developing countries. Some 3.6 billion yen from both the public and private sectors were spent on promotional activities by the bid committee. Hopefully the budget won't balloon going forward, since taxes will also be used to partially cover the cost of the event.

(Answers by Shinsaku Mano, Business News Department)

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