The construction costs for the World Expo 2025 venue in Osaka are set to rise significantly, with estimates now reaching 235 billion yen ($1.7 billion). This marks an increase of up to 50 billion yen ($330 million) from the 2020 estimate, primarily due to surging prices for materials and labor.
Originally estimated at 125 billion yen, the cost was revised to 185 billion yen in 2020, citing design changes and other factors. The rising costs have prompted a reassessment of funding requirements for the event.
The additional expenses will be part of a supplementary budget intended to finance a stimulus package scheduled for release this month. This budget will not only cover the increased construction expenses but also measures aimed at generating enthusiasm for the expo beyond the Osaka area, as well as enhanced security to prevent crowd incidents, similar to one that occurred in South Korea last year.
The slow pace of preparations for pavilions by participating countries has been a cause for concern, leading to delays. While some progress has been made, there were delays reported by 15 countries in negotiations with construction firms for their pavilions, down from 38 in late August. A total of 29 countries are in the process of selecting contractors or planning to do so soon, with Tokyo pushing for these arrangements to be finalized by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, along with other officials, has expressed concerns about the delays and the need to expedite preparations for the expo. The central government has indicated its intention to lead efforts to ensure the successful execution of the event.
The additional costs and adjustments reflect the challenges of hosting a major international event amidst rising costs and logistical hurdles. Despite these challenges, Japan remains committed to making the World Expo 2025 in Osaka a success, showcasing innovation and global cooperation.