Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Japan’s Minister for the Osaka Expo 2025, Kenji Wakamiya, said he would still like to visit the ongoing Dubai Expo and inspect the Japan pavilion there before the end of the Expo in March next year.
“I was looking forward to going to Dubai,” the state minister said in a press conference replying to an Arab News question. “However, the Omicron variant seems to be spreading around the world and, regrettably, I have had to cancel my visit to the Dubai Expo. The most important thing is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases at home and abroad.”
The Japan pavilion in Dubai has been planning to hold a “Japan Day” event on December 11, with government ministers and officials from Japan attending. However, many of these will no longer attend, but some local Japanese staff and officials will take part in the ceremony hosted by the UAE on the day.
Some heads of state, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have visited the Dubai Expo despite the scare over the Omicron variant, but this didn’t prompt the Japanese minister to follow suit.
“I am aware that many people from all over the world are visiting and enjoying the Dubai Expo,” Wakamiya said. “However, I heard that Germany canceled its schedule for Germany’s National Day on November 29. On the other hand, I heard that Kazakhstan, France, Russia, and Thailand events were attended by ministers in charge and other officials.
“Although I cannot predict what will happen with the Omicron variant, I strongly hope to visit the site when the situation settles down.”