Cost of Osaka-Kansai World Expo to be Raised to ¥230 Billion; Soaring Expenses for Materials, Labor Boost Price Tag

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yumeshima Island, the site of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai

Arrangements are being made to increase by ¥45 billion the cost of developing the venue and constructing necessary facilities for the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo, which would bring the total to about ¥230 billion, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

This will be the second time for the central government and the event organizer, the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, to increase the cost due to soaring expenses for materials and labor. It will boost the cost to more than ¥100 billion above the initial estimate.

Expenses for security at the venue, which are to be allocated separately from the construction costs, are also expected to rise.

The amount of the construction-related increase may change, as the government instructed the association to closely examine the expenses required to build the facilities.

The central government, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments, and the business community will each shoulder one-third of the construction cost. This division of the expenses is expected to remain the same even after the about ¥45 billion increase in the construction costs.

The central government will coordinate the matter with the prefectural and municipal governments as well as the business community, and will consider allocating funds in a supplementary budget for fiscal 2023 to cover the greater outlay by the central government.

The expected development costs were raised 50% in December 2020 from the ¥125 billion originally estimated when Osaka presented its bid to host the event, because of the soaring material costs and expenditures to make the venues more comfortable and convenient for visitors.

However, the central government and the association are believed to have decided that another increase is inevitable because of the continued rise in costs for materials and labor against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a sharp decline in the value of the yen on currency markets.

Since the central government plans to strengthen existing security plans for the venue, this may also lead to a jump of several tens of billions of yen in security expenses.

This will further increase the burden on Japanse people, because security costs are to be covered by public funding, separately from construction and operation costs.