Recall campaign against Yokohama mayor to launch in October

Anti-casino groups are preparing to launch their recall campaign against pro-IR Mayor Fumiko Hayashi in October, after having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The drive had already netted about 35,000 signatures before Covid-19 shut down these efforts, and the organizers hope to collect 500,000 more signatures in October and November, thus triggering a recall.

While Yokohama’s Yamashita Pier is regarded as one of the most attractive IR candidate sites by major international operators, public opinion polls have consistently shown stronger local opposition than in any other candidate location. The anti-casino activists hope to build on this fact and to successfully recall Mayor Hayashi.

Hayashi was reelected in 2017 after facing two anti-casino opponents. At that time she described her position as being a “blank slate” on IR development. However, Hayashi came out aggressively in favor of an IR in August 2019, declaring that she felt “a sense of crisis” about the city’s future if it did not embrace this project.