Around 40 countries are set to build their own pavilions at the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka next year, down from the initially planned 60, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said Tuesday.

"Looking at various circumstances, (the number in the end) will be around 40," Yoshimura told reporters, as inflated materials and labor costs have affected the construction plans of countries participating in the global event from April 13 through Oct. 13 next year on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay.

Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura speaks to reporters on April 16, 2024 at Osaka prefectural government building. (Kyodo)

Around a dozen countries planning self-built "Type A" pavilions, seen as the highlight of the expo, have yet to find construction firms, with complexity of designs posing an additional problem for them.

Yoshimura said that while it is up to each country to choose which type of pavilion it wants, Japan should urge those having difficulties in building Type A pavilions to switch to pavilions built by the organizer.

He added space allotted for Type A pavilions can then be diverted into a rest area or an open space.

The governor dismissed the possibility that fewer self-built pavilions would dampen public enthusiasm for the event, saying 40 is enough for the expo to showcase "unique pavilions."

As of Thursday, 36 countries had secured contractors to build their own pavilions, according to the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition. But at least seven, including Brazil, have given up on Type A and switched to simpler, organizer-built types.

As of March 14, 160 countries and one region as well as nine international organizations had confirmed their participation in the expo, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Related coverage:

FOCUS: Osaka Expo preparations gather pace amid concerns, with 1 year to go

82% of 2025 World Expo entities see low public interest as challenge

2025 Expo to exhibit carbon-capturing concrete dome