Construction has started for the Japanese government's pavilion at the 2025 World Expo in Osaka City, with a groundbreaking ceremony held on Monday.
Organizers and other officials attended the ceremony at the Japan Pavilion site on the city's Yumeshima island.
State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nakatani Shinichi gave a speech as a representative of the host country.
He said he hopes the pavilion makes visitors aware they live in cycles and are connected with other living things, and encourages them to change their behavior by thinking of sustainability as their own issue.
After breaking the ground, the participants prayed for the safety of the construction work.
The Japan Pavilion will be three stories, with a floor space of 11,300 square meters. It will be a venue to send out messages from the host country and welcome foreign dignitaries.
The government initially tried to select a building contractor through competitive bidding. But the process failed as all offers exceeded the planned price.
That led the government to sign a discretionary contract with a major general contractor for over 7.6 billion yen, or 52 million dollars.
The change delayed the start of construction by about three months. But the government expects the pavilion to be completed as scheduled by the end of February 2025.
Designer Sato Oki, who serves as the Japan Pavilion's general producer, says he hopes visitors will have a chance to see Japan's technologies, traditions and charms first-hand.
Sato says he thinks it's his mission to show visitors that Japan is cool and attractive.