Japan Needs to Spend ¥84 Billion for 2025 Osaka Expo on Top of ¥235 Billion for Construction

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo site

The 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo will require about ¥84 billion in funds on top of the estimated ¥235 billion for its construction, the minister in charge said Monday.

At a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee, Hanako Jimi said the central government will need to spend the additional estimated ¥83.7 billion for the following: ¥36 billion for the Japan Pavilion, including its construction, operation and demolishment; ¥24 billion to provide assistance to developing countries for their exhibitions; ¥19.9 for security costs; and ¥3.8 billion for publicity to drive up enthusiasm for the world exposition.

As criticism has intensified amid the increasing Expo construction costs, the central government intends to reduce the related costs to gain the public’s understanding. One measure taken has been to scale down the Japan Pavilion.

The estimated ¥235 billion that the central government has said will be the maximum cost for construction is already 90% higher than the initial estimate. This cost will be shared in thirds at ¥78.3 billion among the central government, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments, and business circles. This means the central government is estimating that the nation will have to spend ¥162 billion.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the economy, trade and industry minister, expressed his view to keep costs down for the Japan Pavilion. Referencing the ¥24.6 billion cost of the Japan Pavilion for the 2005 World Exposition Aichi, he said: “The cost this time has increased 60%. With the consumption tax rate also having gone from 5% to 10%, the simple calculation would put the cost at over ¥40 billion. We would like to keep the cost at ¥36 billion.”

At the time of the contract for the 2025 Expo version of the Japan Pavilion, the construction cost was ¥7.678 billion. That figure did not include costs for part of the interior work and other matters. The pavilion has thus been reduced to two stories instead of the originally planned three stories and 11,352 square meters of floor space.

The Japan Pavilion will serve as a venue to promote the host country and will also play a diplomatic role in welcoming foreign dignitaries, so the central government does not want the exhibition and reception activities affected through the scaling down.