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Osaka Pavilion cost estimate for 2025 world expo rises again, hits $80 million

This image provided by the Osaka pavilion promotion committee of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition shows an image of the exterior of the Osaka Pavilion.

OSAKA -- The estimated cost of the Osaka Pavilion at the world expo set to take place here in 2025 has soared yet again to reach 11.5 billion yen (roughly $80 million) after earlier ballooning to 10 billion yen (about $68.6 million).

    It was originally estimated the pavilion would cost 7.3 billion yen (about $50 million). As the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments will face a heavier financial burden to cover the additional expenses, the prefectural government submitted a supplementary budget proposal to the Osaka Prefectural Assembly on Oct. 11.

    The main characteristics of the pavilion are its large roof consisting of many triangles of glass and its vaulted ceiling. Despite the initial estimate of about 7.3 billion yen, Takenaka Corp., which was chosen as the party with preferential construction negotiation rights, presented a figure of 19.5 billion yen (about $133.9 million). In addition to added costs from the complicated structure, soaring material costs contributed to the higher figure.

    Officials considered changing the shape of the roof to lower expenses, and Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said Sept. 16 he had heard the cost would somehow be kept down to 10 billion yen.

    However, at that stage the actual cost of construction was estimated to be 11 billion yen (around $75.5 million), and 10 billion yen was said to be only a "rough estimate." In the end the estimated cost came to some 4 billion yen (approximately $27.5 million) more than the original estimate. An additional cost of approximately 2 billion yen (about $13.7 million) was included in the prefectural government's supplementary budget. Negotiations to reduce the cost further will be made in the future with Takenaka Corp.

    An official at the Expo Promotion Bureau run jointly by the prefectural and municipal governments offered an apology, saying, "We're sorry that the burden on prefectural residents will increase further."

    (Japanese original by Masaki Ishikawa, Osaka City News Department)

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