Business group pushes for Chiba IR bid

The local business group “Chiba’s Future” is stepping up its campaign to convince the municipal authorities to embrace their plan to build an IR off the coast of the Makuhari district.

They will soon submit their revised plans to the Chiba City Council and the Chiba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun.

The plan calls for a megafloat, a manmade floating island, to be created, upon which a luxury hotel and entertainment facilities, including a casino, will be built. A bridge and undersea tunnel would connect to the mainland, where Makuhari Messe and ZOZO Marine Stadium already exist.

The nearby transportation infrastructure would be upgraded and the Makuhari Messe convention center, which is large but growing old, would be renewed.

The business group envisages a total budget in the JPY1 trillion yen (about $9.2 billion) range.

The Chiba City Council passed a resolution more than five years ago supportive of the concept of IR construction, but in recent years the top political leaders have been passive, suggesting that the IR proposal is under consideration, but making no proactive moves.

It remains unclear if any of major cities in the Kanto region—Tokyo, Yokohama, or Chiba—intend to make an IR bid in the first round.