October 29, 2016 6:55 am JST

Osaka eyes 2025 expo touting Japanese health tech

A panel set up by Osaka Prefecture put together the basic plan for a 2025 expo.

OSAKA -- The prefecture of Osaka seeks to host an international fair in 2025 focusing on health and longevity and promoting cutting-edge technologies from fast-graying Japan.

The event would run for six months from May 2025 on the artificial island of Yumeshima, according to an outline released Friday by the prefecture.

Osaka envisions 30 million visitors, 40% more than at the 2005 Expo in Aichi Prefecture. It estimates costs at 200 billion yen ($1.91 billion), including pavilion expenses, with a 6 trillion yen boost to the economy.

Plans call displaying a residence where guests can experience health management aided by advanced technologies and a reader-friendly exhibition on findings of regenerative-medicine research involving induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.

"We hope to bring together knowledge and wisdom from all over the country and contribute to health and a long lifespan that people around the world seek," Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui said Friday. The prefecture will submit the outline to the central government early next month and ask Japan to make a bid for hosting the expo.

The government is open to the idea of another major international event after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "We will give the proposal full consideration," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. A world expo would be "a great opportunity to promote Japan to the world and would also stimulate regional economies," Suga said.

An expert panel to be formed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry later this year will look at Osaka's plans and the expected economic effects. A conclusion is expected next spring.

Spring might also be when Japan throws its hat into the ring. France is also thinking about hosting the 2025 expo in Paris and is said to be placing a bid with the Bureau International des Expositions as early as this autumn. Once a country makes a bid, a six-month window is established for others to place competing bids.

(Nikkei)

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