OSAKA, Japan, Nov. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Executive Committee of the Midosuji Party held the "Midosuji Runway" around the Midosuji Avenue in Osaka'sChuo Ward on November 3, as part of its efforts to gain momentum for the EXPO 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. The popular autumn event in Osaka's largest thoroughfare and shopping district was held after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event's theme was "SPARK" with a message that Osaka's power will spark for the future, partly because it was held for the first time since Osaka was selected to host the EXPO 2025. About 300,000 spectators were fascinated by this large-scale event.
On a special stage during the event, Kobukuro, a popular male pop duo from Osaka who have been appointed as EXPO ambassadors, sang the EXPO's official theme song, "Kono Hoshi no Tsuzuki wo" (meaning "extension of this planet" in Japanese). "There are less than 900 days before the EXPO," they said. "We'll be able to see what nobody has ever seen. Nothing is more exciting than that." The pop unit emphasized to continue singing the song over the next three years so that it will be known to as many people as possible.
Various iconic mascots in Osaka appeared during the parade. Popular characters such as Woody Woodpecker, Winnie Woodpecker and Snoopy as well as Sesame Street characters joined Universal Studios Japan's performance. Mario and Pikachu appeared on a float and said hello, pleasing spectators.
Cheers erupted among spectators when Downtown, a popular comedy duo who also serve as EXPO ambassadors, appeared on stage during a Special Runway at the end of the event. "We're in the groove here today," said Hitoshi Matsumoto, a member of Downtown. When Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura asked Masatoshi Hamada, Matsumoto's partner, to paint the Osaka Pavilion, he agreed, saying, "Of course, I'll do it as long as I have enough time." Yoshimura said, "I'd like to build momentum for the EXPO Osaka, Kansai with all of you." Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui told visitors and participants, "We have a dream for the future of Osaka, and in 2025 we want to hold the EXPO in which your dreams will come true, so please support us."
Moreover, Shuhei Tada, a "2020 Tokyo Olympics" sprinter, and other athletes participated in an "Athletes Runway," while prizewinning dancers performed, demonstrating Osaka's vibrancy as the EXPO 2025 is drawing near.