OSAKA—A conference here of participating nations to the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo was overshadowed by the decision of two countries to withdraw from pavilion construction for the event.
Hanako Jimi, state minister in charge of the expo, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Nov. 14 that Mexico and Estonia had formally declined to construct pavilions.
While not going into detail out of diplomatic consideration, Jimi said the domestic fiscal situation in the two nations was behind their decision.
Mexico had initially planned to build a Type A pavilion in which the nation covers the construction cost. Jimi did not divulge what type of pavilion Estonia had been contemplating.
Jimi also said nine nations, including Denmark and Finland, and one international organization had newly expressed their intention to take part in the world expo scheduled to open in April 2025.
The two-day international conference here that opened on Nov. 14 was intended to provide representatives with information about the expo, such as what procedures had to be completed for the pavilions as well as the state of venue construction.
About 500 individuals from 158 nations and six international organizations attended the first day of the meeting.
“The main objective of this meeting is to provide support to the nations preparing their exhibitions by advancing plans for the exhibitions and interior work,” Koji Haneda, representing the Japanese government, said at the start of the session.
The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition will provide consultation support to participating nations over a two-day period after the conclusion of the international conference.
Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary-general of the Bureau International des Expositions, which oversees all world expos, called for a simplification of various procedures related to pavilion construction.
He noted that the period of 500 days before the start of the world expo will pass by with incredible speed.
Another speaker at the international conference, architect Sosuke Fujimoto who serves as venue design producer, explained the Grand Roof, a wooden ring that will be constructed at the expo site.
The structure will cost 35 billion yen ($232 million) to build.
Some participants asked what parts of the Grand Roof would be left as a legacy after the expo ends, but Fujimoto only said discussions were continuing and no decision had been made.
(This article was written by Shinkai Kawabe, Shinji Hakotani and Daisuke Matsuoka.)