The Wakayama Prefectural Government has decided not to wait around for the central government to issue its IR Basic Plan and instead will move forward without knowing the specific terms of that guidance.
The Wakayama IR bid at this time appears to be in most direct competition with Nagasaki for the third available IR license, presuming that Yokohama and Osaka take the other two.
Part of Wakayama’s strategy is to present itself as a complementary facility to the anticipated Yumeshima IR, and Osaka’s leaders have begun playing along with the idea that there could be a synergetic effect.
“We like to work together to see a resort-style IR utilizing Wakayama’s characteristics,” said Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, “Both the size of the city and the target operators are different. I don’t see them as a rival. Yokohama is the rival.”
Wakayama is expected to begin its RFP process in the spring, and it aims to open the IR in early 2025, before the World Expo begins.