Press Release

2024.06.28 Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan “International Participants Meeting 2024 Summer” Report
Group photo of the Official Participant representatives (taken on 25 June)

On 26 June 2024, the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition (hereinafter referred to as “the Association”), concluded the two-day International Participants Meeting 2024 Summer (hereinafter referred to as “IPM2024 Summer”).
The meeting was attended by Expo directors who are the heads of international expositions from various countries and international organisations and included sessions to share specific information and exchange opinions on how Official Participants will operate their pavilions, as the focus of preparation shifts from construction to operation. In addition, breakout sessions were held according to the type of exhibition, providing more practical guidance on interior exhibition and management. Furthermore, a special session was held to provide advice to Official Participants for planning and implementing their own theme week programmes, etc.
The Association will further accelerate preparations for the pavilion exhibitions and will provide maximum support to the Official Participants in the run up to the Expo.

Meeting Name

International Participants Meeting (IPM) 2024 Summer


Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 June 2024


Nara Prefectural Convention Centre


Expo directors from countries, regions and international organisations that have announced their participation in the Expo (including planned participation).

Number of Participants

Approx. 600 people from about 160 countries/regions and international organisations.

Day one, Tuesday 25 June

■Opening address

Opening Remarks by Secretary-General ISHIGE

ISHIGE Hiroyuki, Secretary-General, Japan Association for the International Exposition, 2025
“Now, the focus of Expo preparations have shifted from construction to operations. This IPM is a valuable opportunity to resolve issues by enhancing our mutual relationships, not only between the Official Participants and the Association, but also between participants themselves, through face-to-face communication.”

Opening Remarks by Minister JIMI

JIMI Hanako, Minister for the World Expo 2025
“The Osaka-Kansai Expo is the first Expo in the post-COVID era… I strongly believe that the Expo will serve as an excellent opportunity for people from around the globe to come together and think about the future of humanity.”

Opening Remarks by Commissioner General HANEDA

HANEDA Koji, Commissioner General of the 2025 World Exposition in Japan
“The Grand Ring, which embodies the theme “Unity in Diversity”, is taking shape with overwhelming presence. The preparation of national pavilions and their contents have started to be in full swing. While there still remain various challenges in the process of construction of pavilions and the operational preparations for the Expo, now becoming the focus of work, the Japanese government, the Expo Association together with the local governments and business community are determined to continue to work closely with all the participants to address these challenges.”

Opening Remarks by Secretary General KERKENTZES

Dimitri KERKENTZES, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE)
“Less than 300 days until the Expo opens its gates to visitors, a great responsibility lies with all of us. We must work hard to deliver on our promises; we must work efficiently to make the most of the time and resources at our disposal; and above all we must work together.”

■Plenary Session on Participating in the Expo

Over two days, specific and practical information required for each Official Participant to operate the pavilion, including National Days and Special Days, venue operations and regulations (including those for pets), admission passes, guidelines on vehicle entry, on-site payments (cashless payments), hiring staff, on-site communications, etc. The Official Participants were provided with specific and practical information and exchanged opinions.

■Special Session: Pre-Theme Weeks
A demonstration of the theme week programme ‘Agenda 2025’ organised by the Association was conducted to deepen the understanding of Theme Weeks among Official Participants and to provide suggestions for actively planning and implementing their own Theme Week programmes.

Discussion about the “Agenda 2025” demonstration

Day 2, Wednesday 26 June.

■ Various Breakout Sessions on Participation in the Expo
In addition to the breakout sessions for developing countries and protocols, there were also breakout sessions for each type of exhibition. The Association provided a wide range of information on pavilion construction, exhibition interior design and operation. The Official Participants actively asked and answered questions on employment, visas, emergency response and other issues.

■ Bridging Session with Thematic Project Producers
In order to deepen exchanges between thematic project producers and Official Participants and promote future cooperation, producers gave an overview of the thematic projects they are implementing and introduced what they would like to do in cooperation with Official Participants. A music session by Producer NAKAJIMA’s band was also held.

Thematic project producers during the bridging session
Music performance by Producer NAKAJIMA’s band

■ Press Conference

ISHIGE Hiroyuki, Secretary-General, Japan Association for the 2025 International Exposition, Japan

Approximately 600 colleagues from about 160 countries/regions and international organisations participated in this year’s IPM (International Participants Meeting), more than in the previous one. There are three main points regarding the results of this year’s event.

(Strengthening soft support)
The first point is that, as the focus of Expo preparations shifts from construction to operation, support for the “soft” side of things was strengthened: Practical information was provided during the IPM on essential elements of running the Expo, such as hiring staff and communication methods, and support was provided directly including handling bank account opening proceduress at the venue.
In addition, to coincide with this IPM a “one-stop shop” was opened on Sakishima, Osaka on 24 June as an independent, permanent space to centrally handle various enquiries and applications from Official Participants. On the first day alone, the shop conductedmore than 400 individual consultations with representatives from about 30 countries and international organisations. This week, we plan to handle about 1,600 consultations, 95% of which are related to operations. Previously, more than half were construction related. These figures show that the focus of preparation has largely shifted to the soft side. We will continue to provide a range of support tailored to the support needs of Official Participants in each preparation phase.

(Strengthening momentum-building with all stakeholders)
The second point is concrete efforts to build momentum through the cooperative efforts of all parties concerned.
At this IPM, many Official Participants directly communicated the appeal of their pavilions and their enthusiasm for the Expo to domestic and foreign media. In addition, through the Pre-Theme Week and Theme Producer Exchange Meetings, to the Association widely disseminated information on the expectations and enthusiasm for the Expo events as the Association officials, producers and Official Participants came together to discuss their hopes and passion for the event.
Everyone can play a leading role at the Expo. It is an “Expo for everyone”. This time, approximately 160 countries and organisations gathered in Nara and showed their enthusiasm for making the Expo a success at all costs. In order to spread this enthusiasm from the Kansai region to the rest of the world, we asked the official participants in the IPM to further promote the appeal of the Expo. We hope that all participants will convey this attraction throughout Japan, and the Association would like to play a part in this.

(Reaffirming the Expo as a national event)
The third point is that we were able to hold the IPM here in Nara. Holding this international meeting in preparation for the Expo in Japan’s historic ancient capital with so many participants from all over the world was a good opportunity to reaffirm to everyone inside and outside Japan that the Expo is a national event for Japan.
We would like to thank the people of Nara Prefecture for their great efforts from the preparatory stage to hold the IPM here and look forward to their continued cooperation as partners in the development of this national event.

(Inauguration of the Steering Committee)
In addition to the above, members of the Steering Committee were appointed from among the Official Participants at this year’s IPM to hold regular discussions with the Association on various issues related to the management of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. The IPM will continue to communicate closely with the Official Participants through the Steering Committee and make preparations for the smooth running of the Expo.

Finally, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the BIE, for the useful advice he has given us on a daily basis, from the establishment of the One-Stop-Shop to various individual issues. With 291 days remaining until the Expo, the Association will do its utmost to prepare for the event in close cooperation with all parties concerned, including the Official Participants.