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Japan’s Osaka picked to host 2025 World Expo, beating Russia, Azerbaijan

The western Japanese city of Osaka was selected Friday to host the World Exposition in 2025, beating Russia’s Ekaterinburg and the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

Osaka, which last hosted the expo in 1970, was picked in a vote in Paris by member countries of the event’s governing body, the Bureau International des Expositions, at its general meeting.

Under the theme «Designing Future Society for Our Lives,» Osaka aims to call on individuals to help encourage the global effort to achieve a sustainable society.

The city has proposed to organize the event, focused on the contribution of technology to health and medicine, on the artificial island of Yumeshima between May 3 and Nov. 3, 2025, and predicts it will attract approximately 28 million visitors.

By pushing forward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals — a set of 17 objectives to be achieved by 2030 including no poverty, zero hunger, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities and climate action — Osaka hopes to bring various people and ideas together to design an inclusive future.

Earlier Friday, the three candidates made their final presentations at the general meeting.

Baku, sitting on the Caspian Sea in oil-rich Azerbaijan, offered up the talent, vitality and achievement of humanity as the theme of its proposal.

Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city and located near the Ural mountains, based its bid on the idea of future technological innovation as a catalyst for the design of improved living conditions.

Neither Azerbaijan nor Russia has previously hosted an expo.

Known officially as International Registered Exhibitions, expos are held every five years, with their themes centering on the universal challenges of the time.

The French government had sought to host the 2025 exposition in Paris, but withdrew its candidacy earlier this year, citing financial concerns.

The 1970 Osaka Expo was attended by around 64 million people, the second largest in history after the Shanghai Expo in 2010. Japan most recently hosted the event in 2005 in central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture.

The next expo will take place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in 2020 while the most recent one was held in Milan, Italy in 2015.

All — Kyodo News+

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