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Nagasaki pitches for regional IR at public hearing

The Nagasaki prefectural government used the occasion of the fourth public hearing on Tuesday—this one held in the city of Fukuoka on Kyushu Island—to make a pitch for its own IR license, calling in particular for the central government not to neglect regional locations solely in favor of the major urban areas of the country.

Nagasaki Vice-Governor Susumu Satomi attended the public hearing in person and stated, “Japan ought not focus only on constructing huge scale facilities, but also understand that having the highest quality is also an aspect of international competitiveness.”

A representative of the Sasebo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is the local city within which the Nagasaki IR is contemplated, echoed the vice-governor’s appeal.

As in the other hearings, some speakers expressed opposition to the establishment of IRs due to concerns about gambling addiction and other social problems.

On Monday, the third public hearing was held in Hiroshima city, but perhaps because no local governments in that region are preparing to bid for an IR license, there were no significant media reports about that particular hearing.

A total of nine public hearings are planned, with the final one scheduled for August 29. Theoretically, public comments are supposed to be a reference point when drafting the forthcoming IR Implementation Bill.

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