Yokohama Harbor Transport Association Chairman Yukio Fujiki, the 89-year-old “don of Yokohama” who controls part of Yamashita Pier, the proposed site for the IR, has vowed, “I shall not be evicted,” signaling his all-out resistance to Mayor Fumiko Hayashi’s new policy of favoring a bid.
Fujiki is angry that the plans of his Yokohama Harbor Resort Association, established several months ago, for a development of the Yamashita Pier area without a casino were dismissed by the mayor.
Fujiki says a casino is not needed to make the area into a profitable resort: “Everything is possible without a casino,” he declared. But Mayor Hayashi insists that a casino is indeed needed as a cash generator to make the project work.
“Do not create a gambling hall that will only increase the number of gambling addiction patients!” Fujiki shot back in response.
Fujiki goes so far as to denounce the IR plans as “criminal,” and he added, “This area is sacred land to the people of the harbor like us, so don’t turn it into a gambling den… What we must do is to protect Yamashita Pier. My wish is to leave behind a beautiful port for the children of the future.”
Although more than 90 percent of Yamashita Pier’s land is owned by the city, Fujiki controls most of the rest, and he vows that he will not be moved.