Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Japan announces details for Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai

The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition has released a host of details regarding the upcoming Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai. Many of the details include not only the themes and subthemes, but also the design for the expo’s mascot, the current list of confirmed participating nations and deep dives into the venue and concept.

IPM World’s Fair Editor Jim Ogul examines Osaka’s legacy as a host of world expositions and how this legacy will inform its future.

Date: April 13, 2025-October 13, 2025

Projected Number of Visits: Approximately 28.2 million (3.5 million from overseas)

Theme: “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”


  • “Saving Lives”
  • “Empowering Lives”
  • “Connecting Lives”

Concept: People’s Living Lab

  1. A space where 8 billion people from around the world will not only view exhibits but will co-create our future society.
  2. Even before the Expo begins, an online platform for sharing challenges and solutions from around the world will be launched.
  3. A place where the world’s knowledge such as cutting-edge technology will be brought together, used to create new ideas and shared, all to help resolve global issues facing mankind.
Digging deeper: “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”

Expo 2025 will be a platform to achieve the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations as well as the Japanese national project “Society 5.0.”

“Society 5.0” is Japan’s national strategy to develop a human-centered society that progresses economically and resolves social issues through a system that combines both cyber and physical spaces in a sophisticated manner. It refers to a new form of society chronologically following hunting, farming, industry and information societies. A society that is able to resolve a variety of issues on a global scale with technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, big data and biotechnology is a society that will have achieved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Location of Yumeshima with details of Osaka and Kansai regions. Photo courtesy of The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.

Venue: Yumeshima, the site for the Expo, is an artificial island located in the Osaka Bay Area. Within its 50-kilometer (31-mile) vicinity lies Kyoto and Nara, the ancient capitals of Japan. Dining, entertainment and many popular tourist spots make Osaka and the Kansai region attractive.

The Master Plan for the Expo can be found here.

Expo 2025: “More than an event”

Organizers of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai expect some 150 countries and 25 international organizations to participate.

As of March 11, 2022, 87 countries had confirmed participation and six international organizations. On February 15, 2022, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the Government of Japan signed an Expo 2025 See Agreement which serves as a legal framework to guarantee the privileges and conditions for official participants in the next World Expo.

The agreement was signed by the Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, and the Ambassador of Japan to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Akio Isomata. Kerkentzes indicated: “The See Agreement brings the formal partnership between the BIE and the Government of Japan to a whole new level and will establish the legal framework for international participants. This Agreement thus marks a new milestone in the journey towards the realization of an inspirational and globally inclusive World Expo that brings countries together to design a shared future society.”

What is the Signature Pavilion?

It is named “Signature Pavilion” because the thematic projects are symbolic and representative projects of Expo 2025, and because the pavilions, which are created by eight experts, are also a “signature piece” in which the themes are deeply discussed from the producers’ respective philosophies. Eight project producers will interpret and develop Expo 2025’s theme, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” from their own unique perspectives and build pavilions that will connect people living in the future.

Thematic Projects & Thematic Project Producers (8 people)
  • Quest of Life: Fukuoka Shin-Ichi (Biologist, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University)
  • Totality of Life: Kawamori Shoji (Animation director and mechanic designer)
  • Embracing Lives: Kawase Naomi (Filmmaker)
  • Cycle of Lives: Koyama Kundo (Broadcast writer and scriptwriter)
  • Amplification of Lives: Ishiguro Hiroshi (Professor, Osaka University Visiting Director, ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories)
  • Invigorating Lives: Nakajima Sachiko (Musician, mathematician and STEAM educator)
  • Forging Lives: Ochiai Yoichi (Media artist)
  • Resonance of Lives: Miyata Hiroaki (Professor, Keio University)

On August 25, 2020, the Exposition Association held a meeting of the final examination committee to screen finalist logos for Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai and determined the award-winning logo.

Expo 2025 is an exposition which will be collaboratively created and developed by each of the people in Japan through their participation. Aiming to develop this logo into a symbol that will gain worldwide popularity, the Exposition Association will designate this logo as the official logo and make use of it for further raising public awareness of the exposition and fostering public interest and momentum.

Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai’s mascot. Image courtesy of The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.

On March 22, 2022, the Exposition Association held a meeting of the final examination committee to select the official mascot for the 2025 Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai and decided on the grand award winner.

The various forms which the mascot can take shape. Image courtesy of The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.

This came from the idea: “Can I turn the logo into a mascot just the way it is?” The concept was to combine the logo with the water from Osaka, “the city of water,” to give it the ability to transform. Using that concept, we divided the logo into parts and came up with mascots of various forms while trying to maintain the logo’s lively image.

Concept rendering of a portion of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai based upon part of its masterplan. Image courtesy of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai. Image courtesy of The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition.
Confirmed Participations (as of March 11, 2022)

Japan’s registration for the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai was approved at the General Assembly of the BIE on December 1, 2020. The Government of Japan has sent invitations to the governments of other countries and international organizations. The following countries and international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Expo:

  • Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • Republic of Angola
  • Argentine Republic
  • Republic of Armenia
  • Australia
  • Republic of Austria
  • Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Kingdom of Bahrain
  • People’s Republic of Bangladesh
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Kingdom of Bhutan
  • Federative Republic of Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Burkina Faso
  • Republic of Burundi
  • Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Union of Comoros
  • Republic of Cuba
  • Republic of Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • Republic of Estonia
  • French Republic
  • Republic of The Gambia
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Republic of Ghana
  • Republic of Guinea
  • Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  • Hellenic Republic
  • Republic of Honduras
  • India
  • Republic of Indonesia
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Italian Republic
  • Jordan
  • Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Republic of Korea
  • State of Kuwait
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Republic of Latvia
  • Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • Republic of Madagascar
  • Republic of Mali
  • United Mexican States
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  • Republic of Paraguay
  • Portuguese Republic
  • State of Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Republic of Rwanda
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Republic of Senegal
  • Republic of Serbia
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • The Republic of South Sudan
  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • Republic of Suriname
  • Swiss Confederation
  • Republic of Tajikistan
  • Kingdom of Thailand
  • Kingdom of Tonga
  • Republic of Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Republic of Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Republic of Yemen
  • Republic of Zambia
  • Republic of Zimbabwe
International Organizations
  • African Union Commission
  • ASEAN Secretariat
  • European Union
  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • International Solar Alliance
  • ITER

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