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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 November 21 - 27  > Osaka promotes move to invite casinos behind bid to host World Expo 2025
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2018 November 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Osaka promotes move to invite casinos behind bid to host World Expo 2025

November 25, 2018
Osaka was selected to host the 2025 World Expo at the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) general assembly held in Paris on November 23. Osaka will become the host city for the second time since it hosted the event in 1970. The 2025 Expo is scheduled to run for 185 days from May 3 on the artificial island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay.

The governor of Osaka, Matsui Ichiro, is the head of the pro-casino Nippon Ishin no Kai party which worked together with the Liberal Democratic Party in the Diet to enact the casino legalization bill. The Osaka prefectural and city governments, where the Nippon Ishin no Kai is the ruling party, seek to invite casino-centric “Integrated Resort (IR)” facilities to Osaka.

Japanese Communist Party Osaka Prefectural Committee head Yanagi Toshiaki on November 24 released a comment, expressing his opposition to the wasteful use of taxpayers’ money under the pretext of hosting the world expo as well as to the Ishin party’s attempt to invite casinos.

The comment points out that despite the ideal of the World Expo, Osaka’s bid for hosting this international event contains a huge problem. It also states that among Osakans, while celebrating the selection to host the expo, some are casting a critical eye on the prefectural government’s use of the Expo bid as a pretext for reinforcing its attempt to open gambling casinos. The JCP comment points out that there is also a concern that the Expo may impose massive financial burdens on Osaka citizens.

The Osaka prefectural government in its expo plan estimates the construction cost at 125 billion yen which will be shared equally among the national government, the Osaka prefectural and city governments, and the Kansai business community. The operating costs are estimated to be 82 billion yen which will be covered by ticket sales and other revenues. The number of visitors to the expo is expected to reach 28 million. However, this figure comes from wishful thinking. As other Expo-related costs, it is reported that the cost to build transport infrastructure, including the development of railway services and the road construction, is calculated at 73 billion yen.

The JCP in the comment criticized Governor Matsui for heavily relying on the 2025 Expo and the opening of casinos as measures to boost local economies, and said that the recovery of Osaka’s economy should be achieved not through revenues from casinos, but through sufficient support for small- and mid-sized businesses.

Past related articles:
> Opening of casino will only create hotbed of unhappiness [June 14, 2018]
> Osaka’s bid for 2025 World Expo disguises its intent to attract casino businesses [April 26, 2017]
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