More than 600,000 people from all over the world flocked into Osaka, Japan, yesterday Saturday 12) for a last look at the massive Expo 70 exhibition which has been staged there over the past six months.
More than 600,000 people from all over the world flocked into Osaka, Japan, yesterday Saturday 12) for a last look at the massive Expo 70 exhibition which has been staged there over the past six months. The exhibition closes today (Sunday 13) and another 600,000 visitors are expected for the closing ceremony.
During its run the exhibition has attracted a total of 63,700,000 people, with foreign visitors making up two per cent of the total. Most of these have been Asians and they have come from Korea, Taiwan, Hongkong South Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, India and Pakistan, but there have also been thousands of visitors from Europe, America and Australia.
Expo 70 is believed to have attracted more visitors than any world exhibition since Expo 67 which was held in Canada.
As the time for closing drew near the masses of pavilions that make up the major part of the exhibition began to sprout oddly mostalgic messages of thanks to the visitors. For the thousands of people who have been engaged in running Expo 70 the end of the exhibition brought its own moment of sadness because, for them, the exhibition has become part of the fabric of their lives.
After Sunday's closing ceremony, performed by the Japanese Crown Prince, most of the pavilions will be dismantled and destroyed, but some are being saved. The Australian pavilion is being donated to Yokkaichi City and the Bulgarians are taking their pavilion back to Sophia. Some of the Japanese pavilions will be left standing to form the nucleus of a new dormitory suburb in Osaka.
The closing of the exhibition brought a surge of bargain-hunters into the Expo grounds. Pavilion staffs were kept busy selling off their display goods at half price while massive queues of would-be buyers built up outside the grounds.