Fujiki to establish Yokohama anti-casino organization

Yokohama Harbor Transport Association Chairman Yukio Fujiki is stepping up his efforts to head off an IR bid in his city by establishing a new anti-casino called the “Yokohama Harbor Resort Association.”

Fujiki plans to set up this organization next month with the program of proposing tourism promotion projects in Yokohama without including a casino or foreign investors.

“Our city will fall into decline if we allow the serious malady of addiction to flourish just for the sake of the money of foreign businesses… No matter how much money they dangle before our eyes, building a casino is unacceptable,” he declared.

Fujiki has been in a pitched battle over this issue with the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which has been strongly advocating an IR bid and has announced their intention to create an “IR Promotion Council” by the end of this year.

While local public opinion is strongly in Fujiki’s anti-casino camp, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has repeatedly described her own position as “a blank slate” for well over two years, even as her city administration conducted an RFI process last year.