About twenty local citizens groups have come together as “The Roundtable Conference by Citizens Concerned about Changing Town Planning of Yumeshima Island” to call for the plans to develop Yumeshima to be halted. They have written a letter in English and Japanese which they have sent to various national embassies in Tokyo as well as to the Bureau International des Expositions, which awarded the 2025 World Expo to Osaka last November.
The letter argues that the World Expo is being used as a front for the real objective of the current administration, which is to build a casino on Yumeshima.
The letter states: “The core of a town planning of Yumeshima is a casino and IR, and therefore it is said that pumping tax money into infrastructure development around it may be the profit-sharing to a casino company in the name of the World Expo. Furthermore, the World Expo is mocked as ‘Casino Expo’ by many citizens, and thus if the World Expo 2025 is held at Yumeshima, the purpose of it, ‘to contribute toward the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals’ will become in name only.”
The letter also cites the other major objections that have been raised regarding the development of Yumeshima; namely, that it is allegedly an important spot for biodiversity; that it is allegedly vulnerable to natural disasters; and that access to the island will cause traffic jams.
It also raises new objections, asserting that Yumeshima’s development may contribute to pollution problems, that financial debts may be left to future generations, and that it will not contribute to Sustainable Development Goals.
The letter concludes by asking that the Bureau International des Expositions take “proper action for defending the dignity of the World Expo.”