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Timeline: progress

BelExpo starts preparing long before an expo opens. Expo 2025 Osaka does not open its doors for another two years, but BelExpo and its partners are already working hard to get the Belgian Pavilion ready on time. Where are we with the preparations?

Expo 2025 Osaka


A World Expo, there are all kinds of things involved. Organising such a World Expo takes a huge amount of time. Years before the expo takes place, the process is slowly started. We give you an overview:

Expo 2025 Osaka

The beginning







22 November 2016: France applies to host World Expo in Paris.

24 April 2017: Osaka, Japan files its candidacy to host Expo 2025. Around the same time, Baku, Azerbaijan also submits its candidature to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE).

22 May 2017: Yekaterinburg, Russia bids to host Expo 2025.

In the process, Russia rounds out the candidates. However, on 21 January 2018, France is forced to withdraw its candidature as they will already host the Olympics in 2024.

23 November 2018: at the BIE general assembly, Osaka, Japan emerges as the winner to host Expo 2025.

Expo 2025 will take place in Osaka and will be called Expo 2025 Osaka from now on. Concrete plans for the next World Expo can be started from today.

Expo 2025 Osaka








23 May 2019: the directors of Expo 2025 Osaka are designated. That group will include: Hiroyuki Ikeda, Hirofumi Yoshimura (Governor of Osaka), Ichiro Matsui (Mayor of Osaka), Hiroyuki Ishige (Secretary General), Hiroyuki Takeuchi (Vice Secretary General) and Manatsu Ichinoki (Vice Secretary General).

June 2021: the position of Chairman & Representative Director of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition is assigned to Masakazu Tokura, who may also call himself Chairman of the Japan Business Association.

Expo 2025 Osaka

Belgium before opening





26 November 2021: Belgium announces its participation in Expo 2025 Osaka.





International Planning Meeting



25-26 October 2022: the first International Planning Meeting (IPM) takes place in Osaka. Those meetings provide an opportunity for Expo 2025 Osaka participants to come together. Belgium will be present at that first IPM in October.








11 November 2022: BelExpo, together with the Buildings Agency, launches the Public Tender for the construction, design and dismantling of the Belgian pavilion for Expo 2025 Osaka.



Signing Ceremon



8 December 2022: the Signing Ceremony for the signing of the Participation Agreement takes place in Osaka. At that time, a Princely Economic Mission goes out from Belgium to Japan, led by Her Majesty Princess Astrid. BelExpo participates in it and takes the opportunity to sign the Participation Agreement and establish links with both Belgian participants and Japanese partners.







26 January 2023: Three candidate consortia are selected to build and design the Belgian pavilion. The three remaining candidates work closely with BelExpo and the Buildings Agency over the coming months to develop a design that meets the requirements of such a pavilion.



Ground-Breaking Ceremony

13 April 2023: exactly two years before the start of Expo 2025, the Ground-Breaking Ceremony takes place on Yumeshima Island. On that symbolic date, the first works are carried out on what will be the expo site.


30 June 2023: BelExpo launches again in cooperation with the Buildings Agency the second public tender for the Belgian pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka, namely that for the Visitor Journey. That second public tender is a call for a multidisciplinary team to design the inside of the pavilion. That includes but is not limited to the ambience and look and feel of the pavilion, the restaurant, the shop, the mascot, the signage... but also digital applications such as a website and a mobile application.







18 July 2023: Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne chairs the press conference at which the design of the Belgian pavilion and the winning consortium are presented. The press conference featured Ambassador Mikami Masahiro, Mr Laurent Vrijdaghs, administrator-general of the Buildings Agency, Mr Renaat Schrooten, director-general of economic analysis and international economy and, of course, Cyril ROUSSEAUX, head architect of the winning consortium.


8 August 2023: The deadline for bids for the second public tender, the visitor journey, expired. BelExpo received three applications. The consortia are now working closely with BelExpo over the coming months in a second phase: the awarding phase.

15 September 2023: BelExpo submits the temporary building permit for the Belgian pavilion to the authorities in Osaka. In doing so, they were assisted by the consortium responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and dismantling of our Belgian pavilion. In this regard, Belgium is one of the first countries to submit the application.
Pink And White Illustrative Important Announcement Instagram Post
20 October 2023: BelExpo received approval of the temporary building permit, five weeks after the application was submitted. That approval came a week earlier than expected. This makes Belgium the third country, after the Czech Republic and Monaco, to receive that temporary building permit.





Secretary General BIE





8 November 2023: BelExpo travelled to Japan for the occasion of the first ever International Participation Meeting (IPM) where all participating countries meet.

Secretary-General of the BIE Dimitri S. Kerkentzes (left) & Commissioner-General (BelExpo) Pieter De Crem (right)










27 December 2023: BelExpo received approval of the General Design Plan for the Belgian pavilion from the Expo 2025 Osaka organisation. That approval confirmed that plans for the Belgian pavilion comply with the guidelines. The next step: the Detailed Design Plan.


15 January 2024: The Belgian plot, on which the Belgian pavilion will be built, was handed over to our contractor.




16 January 2024: the official Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Belgian pavilion took place, one day after the handover of the plot. During that serene ceremony, the first symbolic works were carried out in the presence of Cyril Rousseaux (chief architect Carré7), H.E. Antoine Evrard (Ambassador for Belgium in Tokyo), H.E. Koji Haneda (Commissioner-General for Expo 2025 Osaka), Mr Hiroyuki Ishige (Secretary-General for the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, H.E. Pieter De Crem (Commissioner-General of BelExpo), Tomonori Nakamizo (contractor OneDesigns).

© Sébastien Stocq, (from left to right): Cyril Rousseaux (Carré7), H.E. Antoine Evrard, H.E. Koji Haneda, Mr Hiroyuki Ishige, H.E. Pieter De Crem, Tomonori Nakamizo (OneDesigns)




29 January 2023: the consortium started the first mobilisation works on the Belgian plot as part of the preparation works for the construction of the Belgian pavilion.



Belgium is not the only country preparing for Expo 2025 Osaka... want to know more?

Curious to know more?

Read all about Expo 2025 Osaka, the Belgian pavilion and all developments on our website!