2024/07/20 22:20

Attracted to Expos for 54 Years-- Interview with Expo enthusiast Mr.Fujii



Attracted to Expos for 54 Years

Since the 1970 Osaka Expo, Hideo Fujii, an Expo enthusiast who has attended 48 Expos held around the world, was asked about the allure of the Osaka-Kansai Expo 2025.
What are the highlights of the Osaka-Kansai Expo 2025?

With "Designing Future Society for Our Lives" as its theme, particular attention is being paid to cutting-edge medical technologies, disaster preparedness to "Protect Lives," and initiatives for peace. Of special note is the sentiment embodied in the "World's Largest Wooden Structure, the Ring."

The previous Dubai Expo, with the participation of a record 192 countries, had numerous initiatives to attract foreign investment. Similarly, the Osaka-Kansai Expo aims to become a meaningful event with 161 countries participating amid uncertain global conditions. Osaka-Kansai Expo hopes to contribute to global problem-solving even after its conclusion, strengthening ties with nations worldwide.

From a global perspective, Japan's longevity culture, contributed by its cuisine, and its peace culture symbolized by anime, are attractive. Exhibitions showcasing cutting-edge technologies promoting longevity culture, like artificial hearts using IPS cells, are particularly intriguing at this Expo. Japan has much to offer the world in terms of disaster preparedness and a philosophy of loving peace.
Although Expos last for six months, they also serve as platforms for Japan to showcase its regional uniqueness and long history. Japan, a rare advanced nation where various festivals have been cherished locally from ancient times, will host over 3,000 festivals at the Osaka-Kansai Expo, offering foreigners the opportunity to experience Japan's diverse festivals and parades.

Are there events and exhibitions involving university students and exchange students?

「EXPO 2025 Design System」

 Universities like Osaka University are engaging in new initiatives to connect with people overseas through music. Many universities, including Osaka Metropolitan University and Kansai University, have student-led circle activities related to the Expo. Various events and presentations involving students have been held, indicating active involvement in the Expo.
Famous musicians participated in events held a year before the Expo, which saw enthusiastic participation from many university students. During the Expo, there will be seven stages hosting anime events, live performances by internationally renowned musicians promoting peace, and more.
Specific participants and festivals will be increasingly introduced through various media. Former president of Yoshimoto Kogyo is in charge of official festival events during the Expo, introducing future "comedy" and "entertainment" using VR, among other innovations. The Expo will also provide a rare opportunity for visitors to experience various festivals and live performances from different regions of Japan, gathering many foreign tourists.
Additionally, utilizing the latest communication technologies by companies like NTT, the communication environment within the venue will greatly improve. Advanced simultaneous translation technology will facilitate communication among people from different countries.
Concerns about Japan's summer heat are noted, but the Expo's operating hours until 22:00 and the cooler evening events should mitigate this. The 30-meter-wide Ring structure might provide shade, and the venue's proximity to the sea breeze at Nanko should offer relatively comfortable weather.

While the 1970 Expo left behind the iconic "Tower of the Sun," is there something similar planned for this Expo?



I believe the world's largest wooden structure, the "Ring," serves as its counterpart. Inspired by Kiyomizu Temple, the Ring spans 30 meters in width and 2 kilometers in circumference. Inside the Ring, exhibitions and events imagining the importance of "life" as a world community will take place, featuring international pavilions.
The Ring, reminiscent of a massive fortress, will offer various shops, exhibitions, events, workshops, and events on the corridor above. Discussions are ongoing about the post-Expo use of the world's largest wooden structure, the Ring, including its usage and integration with adjacent IR facilities, potentially providing a place for people worldwide to relax and connect.
The 1970 Expo left a significant impact on our future. I hope the Osaka-Kansai Expo 2025 will similarly leave a positive influence on the future of our youth. (Statement by Mr.Hideo Fujii) 

【Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai】 Global Talk Event ~Let’s Think About the SDGs~

Comparatively, Osaka has very few foreign consulates compared to Tokyo. To continue connecting and developing with the world even after the Expo, utilizing the Ring could be an ideal opportunity. Countries without consulates in Osaka among the 161 participating countries could use the pavilions within the Ring as temporary consulates. Additionally, foreign staff staying in Japan for six months during the Expo could continue their stay, fostering Osaka's connection with the world.
In the Global Community, we plan to regularly interview staff from countries without consulates in Osaka during the Osaka-Kansai Expo and share their perspectives. (Editor-in-Chief, Global Community, Kazumi Miyazaki)