In full bloom: A cherry tree with fully bloomed flowers in a park beside Osaka Castle. (Shutterstock/File)
The Japanese city of Osaka was selected Friday to host the World Expo 2025, beating Russia and Azerbaijan for the right to organize the exhibition at which countries showcase their achievements.
Osaka garnered 92 votes compared with 61 for the Russian city of Ekaterinburg in the second and final round of voting by members of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions, which organizes the mega-event.
Azerbaijan's capital Baku was knocked out in the first round.
The first world fair to celebrate culture and industrial progress was held in Victorian-era London in 1851.
The concept quickly caught on and cities were soon jostling to outshine each other with huge exhibitions featuring dazzling new creations, such as the Eiffel Tower, which was built for the World Fair of 1889.
Japan's winning bid was entitled "Designing Future Society For Our Lives".
In a video message to the delegates meeting to choose the city in Paris, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the May-November 2025 expo would aim "to make our world a wonderful place".
The World Expo is held on average every five years, with the next one taking place in Dubai between October 2020 and April 2021.