Japan's Osaka wins vote to host 2025 World Expo fair

Japanese Economy minister Hiroshige Seko (centre) and members of the Japan delegation celebrate. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - Osaka will host the 2025 World Expo, after beating Russia's Yekaterinburg and Azerbaijan's Baku, making it the second time the international fair will be held in the Japanese city.

Members of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris held a ballot on Friday (Nov 23) after representatives from the three candidate cities made final presentations of their proposals earlier in the day.

The World Expo events, which cost millions of dollars to prepare and last up to six months, can help shine a spotlight on host cities, drawing visitors from home and abroad.

After no clear winner emerged in a first round of voting, the second round saw Osaka face off against Yekaterinburg, with Japan securing 92 votes to Russia's 61.

"The people of Osaka-Kansai are prepared. They are ready to welcome you all, let us have fun together in Osaka-Kansai," Hiroshige Seko, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, told the organisation during the final presentations.

The fairs, whose themes aim to raise awareness and address global issues, take place every five years.

Milan hosted the 2015 event and the next fair will held in Dubai in 2020.

There are also Specialised Expos held in between.

Osaka, which hosted the 1970 World Expo, pitched the theme of "Designing Future Society for Our Lives", looking at areas such as extending healthy life spans as well as education and employment in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence.

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