On November 15, 2023, the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (hereinafter referred to as “the Association”) completed the two-day schedule of the “International Participants Meeting 2023” (hereinafter referred to as “IPM 2023 Autumn”).
The meeting was attended by Expo directors from various countries, regions, and international organizations and included sessions to deepen understanding of the Expo theme, as well as guidance and discussion on a wide range of issues, including the interior and exterior of pavilions, exhibition construction, operational preparations, and event planning. In parallel with the plenary session, “One-Stop-Shop” was set up to provide individual consultations in 13 fields with the participation of a total of 70 government agencies and businesses, as preparations for the construction of the Official Participants’ pavilion are in full swing. A wide variety of consultations and problem-solving services were provided for over 600 cases, ranging from construction (including submission of basic plans to the City of Osaka) and exhibition interior work to opening bank accounts, tax consultation, and visas.
The day after the IPM, excursions to various locations in the Osaka-Kansai region were also conducted for those who wished to deepen their understanding of the region and to encourage greater interaction between each participant.
The Association will further accelerate preparations for the pavilion exhibitions and will provide maximum support to the Official Participants.
The following is a summary of the content and main statements made during the two-day conference and sessions.
【IPM Day 1, November 14】
■ Opening address (Title of honor omitted)
・TOKURA Masakazu, Chairperson of Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (Video message)
“As the first World Expo to be held in the post-COVID era, the upcoming Expo will provide an ideal opportunity to bring together wisdom to tackle global challenges and achieve our shared goals, particularly the SDGs. Let us join forces and discuss the ‘future society for our lives’ that we should pass on to the next generation, and design, experiment and demonstrate such a future society at the Expo Site in 2025.”
・JIMI Hanako, Minister for the World Expo 2025 (Video message)
“The official theme of our Expo is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.” We must ask: ‘What kind of society do we wish to create for the children of the future?’ A society with advanced technology, including life science; a society that respects and celebrates diversity—these are only some of the possible answers. We would like to converse and collaborate with you leading up to and during the Expo, building upon the theme, so that we can convey together a powerful message to the world.”
・HANEDA Koji, Commissioner General of the 2025 World Exposition in Japan (Ambassador)
“Prime Minister Kishida has exercised his strong leadership and instructed all the parties concerned to assist such participants in addressing their challenges. We, the Government of Japan, the Prefecture and the City of Osaka, the Expo Association, and the business community, are now making all-out efforts to overcome various challenges and stand ready to continue to work closely with you for the preparation of your pavilions and exhibits.”
・Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE)
”Our collective mission is to create an Expo that delivers on its promise to design a future society that is more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. To achieve this, we must act with urgency, and we must persevere in the realisation of an Expo that is not only inspiring, but that also transforms lives.“
■ Special session: Expo Theme and Site Concept
FUJIMOTO Sou, Expo Site Design Producer, introduced the Expo theme and site concept. He also conveyed the Expo Site philosophy, “Unity in Diversity”, and exchanged opinions with the participants.
・FUJIMOTO Sou, Expo Site Design Producer, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan
“I would like everyone to feel a sense of unity that we are all under the same sky on earth from the symbolic architecture of the Expo that represents our philosophy, ’Unity in diversity’.”
■ Special session: Thematic Project “Signature Project”
Producers of the Thematic Project, ISHIGURO Hiroshi and NAKAJIMA Sachiko were invited to convey the concept of the Signature Pavilions and to participate in a panel discussion and panel debate with audience participants on the interpretation of the Expo theme and other topics.
・ISHIGURO Hiroshi, Theme Producer, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan
“It is our mission to design the ‘life’ we want to live, the ‘society’ we want to live in, and the ‘environment’ we want to live in. At the Future of Life Pavilion, we will create and present to the world, together with our sponsors, a new way of being for humans and society, ’The Future of Life’, which will be developed while integrating science and technology, based on cutting-edge science and technology.”
・NAKAJIMA Sachiko, Theme Producer, Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan
“The Playground of Life: Jellyfish Pavilion” expresses the fascination of something that cannot be explained in words, like the mystery of a drifting jellyfish, and symbolizes life and creativity. This pavilion, with its margins and fluctuations, will grow further with activities during the Expo and continue to evolve into a place where people’s creativity is increasingly expressed.”
■ Technical sessions toward the Expo participation
Over the course of two days, the Association’s departments and Official Participants exchanged opinions on a total of 26 topics, including the status of site development and preparation schedules, event planning, guidelines for various pavilion operations such as accommodation, transportation, insurance, bank accounts, commercial activities, food hygiene, Expo Site regulations, and communications, as well as “Virtual Expo,” “TEAM EXPO 2025,” “Best Practices,” and “Expo 2025 Digital Wallet”. In themes such as exhibitions, interior design, and architecture, detailed information was provided and Q&A sessions were held in breakout sessions according to the countries applicable for developing country assistance as well as Type A, B or C exhibitors.
■ Participation Contract Signing Unveiling Ceremony
A reception was held, to which representatives of the Official Participants were invited. In addition, a participation contract signing unveiling ceremony was held for the 25 countries that have newly signed participation contracts.
【Day 2, November 15】
■ Special event “Talking with Students!!”
With MIYATA Hiroaki, a producer of the Thematic Project, as the moderator, “Talking with Students!” was held, where junior high school students and Official Participants exchanged opinions on how to tackle global issues. It created an opportunity for children who will lead the next generation to share their candid views and exchange opinions directly with Official Participants.
■ Press conference
A press conference was held at the conclusion of the IPM.
・ISHIGE Hiroyuki, Secretary General, Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition
〇I am pleased to report on the outcomes of this IPM (International Participants Meeting). There are three main points.
(Sharing and spreading the significance of the Expo)
〇First, approximately 500 participants from about 150 countries and regions and 7 international organizations, considerably more than at the previous meeting, we reaffirmed the significance of hosting the Expo. In order to realize the Expo’s theme, “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” harmony among cultural, generational, and gender diversity is necessary. Through IPM sessions with producers of the Expo and children, we shared the recognition that this Expo should be a People’s Living Lab by all stakeholders.
(Providing detailed information to participants)
〇The second is to respond to the diverse information needs of participants, ranging from pavilion construction to life in Japan. We have signed 25 new Participation Contracts. As soon as they are ready, we will gradually start handing over the Type A plots. Preparations for participation in the Expo are moving from the conceptual phase to the execution phase and are accelerating. In order to make steady progress in this preparation, this year’s IPM included not only plenary sessions but also breakout sessions that provided detailed information for each exhibition type.
(One-stop shop for accelerated preparation)
〇A full-scale “One-Stop-Shop” was implemented to provide more in-depth individual consultation. Over the course of the two days, a total of 70 businesses and related organizations participated in the event, and more than 600 consultations were handled. The same “one-stop shop” counters will be extended tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, and will continue to provide consultation services.
(Solidarity and cooperation of all parties involved)
〇And finally, we were able to strongly confirm our solidarity, cooperation, and enthusiasm with the participants for the success of the Expo. For example, we took a group photo after the morning session on Day 1, and it was the idea of the Official Participants to create and photograph a banner with the message “See you in April 2025” in three languages. They showed their own enthusiasm for how to build momentum for the Expo. The Organiser and Official Participants are now in the same boat and are moving forward toward the opening of the Expo in April 2025.
〇Many of our friends came here from distant countries for three days to attend the event. We realized the extraordinary expectations of countries and organizations for participation in the Expo, including many inquiries and requests to accelerate preparations for exhibitions, as well as proposals to build momentum in Japan and abroad. In particular, Mr. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), gave us a lot of useful advice, including what One-Stop-Shop should be like. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
〇Many staff members of the Association were involved in the preparation and operation of this IPM. There are nearly 200 staff members directly involved in the event who have experienced the Expo firsthand and have built face-to-face relationships with Official Participants.
〇The next IPM will be held at an appropriate time next year, based on the state of preparations. The Association will continue to make preparations for successful exhibitions and operations. That is all I have to report.
On November 16, excursions to various locations in the Osaka and Kansai region were conducted to deepen the understanding of the region and to provide an opportunity for interaction. With the cooperation of local governments and organizations in the Kansai region, 15 courses in Osaka and neighboring prefectures were prepared. In addition to sightseeing and cultural experience programs, a wide range of programs were conducted, including visits to open factories and research facilities and exchange programs with the local community. Approximately 200 participants enjoyed the one-day trips.
▽ Photos of excursions to the Osaka and Kansai region
Public Relations Department, Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition