Hokkaido conservatives fail to unite behind IR bid

The clouds darkened over the prospects for a Hokkaido IR bid this week as the main conservative caucus in the Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly proved unable to coordinate a united stance after two days of talks.

Prefectural officials doubt that an IR bid would even be possible unless the Liberal Democratic Party caucus throws its full weight behind the initiative. Without its united support, there would be a strong possibility that the necessary budgets would be voted down, deeply embarrassing Governor Naomichi Suzuki and his administration.

The Liberal Democratic Party caucus holds a slim majority of 53 seats within the 100-seat chamber, but it includes many who are unconvinced about the wisdom of an IR initiative.

Governor Suzuki has said he will make a final decision on whether or not to move forward with an IR bid at Tomakomai by the end of the year.