2025 Osaka Expo operating expenses up 1.4-fold on rising labor costs

The operating expenses for the 2025 World Exposition in the western Japan city of Osaka are projected to inflate 1.4-fold from an earlier estimate to 116 billion yen ($781 million) amid rising labor costs, the event operator said Tuesday.

The approval of the latest estimate comes as construction costs at the expo venue have already ballooned amid high costs for material and labor, souring public sentiment over the global event that will partially use taxpayers' money.

Of the 116 billion yen, the organizer plans to cover about 97 billion yen by revenue from admission ticket sales and the remainder from other sources of revenue.

Spending on developing the venue, which in part will be funded from state coffers, has nearly doubled from the initial estimate to about 235 billion yen and the government has established a panel of experts to keep the costs in check.

The powerful earthquake that struck Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan on New Year's Day has fueled additional concern that the expo, slated for April 13 through Oct. 13, 2025, could hamper the recovery of the disaster-hit areas as the construction of expo pavilions may drive material demands even higher.

Masakazu Tokura, head of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition and chairman of the country's largest business lobby Japan Business Federation known as Keidanren, said the association will advance preparations for the expo in a way that will not adversely affect disaster recovery.

© Kyodo News