The Aichi prefectural government has launched an RFI process for a “City of International Tourism Focused on MICE.”
While the call does not explicitly announce that this is part of an IR bid, it is clearly related to the local government’s deliberations about whether or not to seek a casino element for the Chubu Centrair International Airport development project in Tokoname city.
As explained by the March 2018 report of the local experts’ committee, “It is important for Aichi Prefecture, which has prospered as a gathering place of the Japanese manufacturing industry, to take full advantage of its industrial strength, unique geographical characteristic of being located at the center of Japan and excellent transportation infrastructure to attract a large number of MICE to the Aichi International Exhibition Center scheduled to open in 2019.”
The same report noted, “we think that Aichi Prefecture should also consider the utilization of Japanese-style IRs aimed for by the country.”
On the man-made island where the airport sits, not only is the exhibition center under construction, but they also envision hotels, a theater, museums of art and industry, restaurants, a shopping center, and sports facilities. In other words, it is already an IR-like development without a decision about the possibility of adding a casino.
Ernst & Young ShinNihon, which is advising the prefectural government and conducting the process, has scheduled RFI briefing sessions for Tokyo on August 21 and in Nagoya on August 23. At these sessions the interested companies will be provided detailed information about the RFI process.