Optimistic Osaka Looks To Expo As Analysts Frown Over IR Timetable

Osaka business interests are confident an integrated resort (IR) will open in the city before the 2025 World Expo, but equity analysts are continuing to warn that time and logistical obstacles could disrupt this goal.

An Osaka government tender for IR operators could begin this year, said Masato Hori, president of Innovent, an event management company that will run a two-day trade show in Osaka in May to showcase IR business opportunities. 

Hori and other Innovent officials told a seminar in Tokyo on Wednesday that they expect foundations to be laid in 2022, assuming that Osaka is granted one of three IR licences by the central government.

Hori said a soft opening of the resort would follow in 2024. 

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