OSAKA, Japan, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Thursday broke ground on its venue for World Expo 2025 to be held in Osaka prefecture of the country's Kansai region.
"It is of historic significance to host an expo that focuses on life at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical uncertainties and energy crisis," said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while delivering a speech at the ground-breaking ceremony held Thursday at Osaka's Yumeshima artificial island, where the expo site is located.
The venue, within the 50-km vicinity of which lie the cities of Kyoto and Nara, will cover about 155 hectares on the island of Yumeshima, which is connected to Osaka's islands of Maishima and Sakishima via the Yumemai bridge and Yumesaki tunnel, respectively.
A signature ring-shaped structure named "the Grand Roof" will be featured at the venue, which represents the philosophy of unity in diversity as a symbol of the expo, according to the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, the expo's organizer.
Covering a building area of 60,000 square meters, the ring boasts a 615-meter inner diameter, making it one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, it added.
Themed "Designing Future Society of Our Lives," the World Expo 2025 is scheduled to be held from April 13 to Oct. 13, 2025.
The venue, divided into three zones, demonstrates three subthemes of saving lives, empowering lives and connecting lives, highlighting topics such as work utilizing AI and robots as well as cross-cultural understanding.
Masakazu Tokura, the chairperson of the association, said at the ceremony that he hoped Yumeshima to become a living lab for the future society, providing impetus for the sustainable development of Japan's economy and society.
Expo-related products, such as the official mascot nicknamed "Myaku-Myaku," are already for sale, said the organizer.
Kishida also announced that Japan will issue a series of commemorative coins for the expo, with silver coins featuring the expo venues and logo released this year.
With the construction work kicking off in April, installation of the venue is scheduled to conclude in April 2025, according to the organizer.
Some 142 countries and regions, as well as eight international organizations, had confirmed participation in the expo as of Oct. 25 last year, it added.