Kitakyushu breaks ranks with Sasebo on IR bid

Sasebo city’s plans to create an “All-Kyushu” campaign to give heft to its small-market IR bid fell by the wayside last week when Kitakyushu, the second-largest city on that southwestern Japanese island, initiated moves toward making its own IR bid.

The Kitakyushu City IR Promotion Council was officially established on May 14 with support from the local business community and some political figures. It remains unclear whether or not Mayor Kenji Kitahashi will throw his own support behind the initiative.

Separately, there have been rumors about the possibility of IR construction at Kyushu’s leading city, Fukuoka, although there have not yet been any overt moves in that direction.

At any rate, Nagasaki Prefecture’s appeal for local unity to bring an IR to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park now appears to be in significant danger from rival municipalities with larger populations and easier access to the rest of Japan.