Osaka accepts IR delay and gives up on pre-World Expo opening

Osaka has thrown in the towel on the prefectural government’s long-cherished cherished prospect of opening its Yumeshima IR before the 2025 World Expo.

Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui explained, “People currently cannot travel between Japan and the United States. Opening before the World Expo was already going to be a tough climb, but with movement now stopped, we can’t avoid the conclusion that there isn’t enough time.”

Rather than selecting its IR consortium partner in June, the selection will be delayed until September.

However, there is, as yet, no indication that the MGM-Orix consortium will face any challenger, even on the slightly longer timeline.

According to the revised schedule, the approval of the prefectural assembly and the city council will be sought in February or March of 2021, and if the national government approves the license, Osaka will stipulate that the Yumeshima must open before the end of March 2027.