Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is facing the ire of opposition councilmen both for the pro-IR pamphlet distributed by her administration that does not admit any negative effects of hosting a casino, as well as repeated challenges to her position that a popular referendum is unneeded.
It has been revealed that only about half of the warehouses at Yamashita Pier have agreed to relocate in the event that the Yokohama IR development is licensed for the location by the central government.
It has been the basic assumption within the IR development community that incumbent Fumiko Hayashi would be running for reelection as Yokohama mayor when her third term expires this coming August. But that prospect now appears less certain than it once did.
This week a fresh scandal, unrelated to IR development, stripped the ruling coalition Komeito Party of its only lawmaker who was proactively and vocally in favor of casino legalization. This represents an indirect but still distinct blow to the industry’s future prospects at the national level.
Akira Amari, the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Research Commission on the Tax System, has clarified that the proposed tax on the winnings of overseas gamblers at Japan’s future IRs will not be imposed.
If an IR is one day built in Tomakomai city, it will certainly be due to the dogged persistence of its municipal government, which has put forward yet another set of proposals to sweeten the pot and to encourage Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki to change his mind and authorize an IR licensing bid.
Joji Kokuryo, managing partner of Bay City Ventures, speaks with Michael Penn, the executive editor of AGB Nippon, about the candidate locations to host an IR in Japan.
If the IR policy delays have created a threat to Yokohama’s plans that are primarily political, the deepest concerns for Osaka arguably relate to its effect on transportation infrastructure to the man-made island of Yumeshima.