Nagasaki aims for IR opening in 2024

Nagasaki has joined both Osaka and Wakayama in proposing to open the doors of its IR by the end of 2024 should it be selected for one of the three available licenses. This was revealed by the prefectural government’s IR Promotion Office to the prefectural assembly on the 7th.

The local government also revealed that it would establish a “review committee” shortly after the national government publishes its guidelines, and this committee, consisting of about ten legal and financial experts, will select the prefecture’s IR operator partner.

The prefectural government claims that about twenty IR operators are potentially interested in bidding—a figure that seems a bit higher than the reality—and that one operator is discussing a JPY400 billion (about $3.6 billion) investment in a Huis Ten Bosch-linked IR.

Prefectural officials estimate that the Sasebo IR will draw in 7.4 million visitors annually, create employment for 22,000 people, and have an economic ripple effect of JPY260 billion (about $2.4 billion).

Meanwhile, an article in Shukan Diamond claimed that the reason that the Huis Ten Bosch investment deal with the Fosun Group of China fell through was precisely because of concerns that the involvement of the Chinese investors would complicate relations between the theme park and the Sasebo city government.