The Nihon Keizai Shinbun’s high-powered IR Forum in Tokyo drew more than six hundred guests, not including the many others who reportedly had to be turned away by an excess of applications. The event brought together government officials, IR operators, analysts, and others for an intensive day-long event last Wednesday.
While there weren’t too many new revelations coming from the main stage, the Nikkei IR Forum did symbolize the growing power and momentum of the IR industry in Japan since the passage of the IR Implementation Act in July. A wider circle of Japanese businesspeople are becoming engaged, starting to think about what roles they might play as the process moves forward.
The politicians at the event were essentially the IR regulars—Alliance for the Promotion of International Tourism Chairman Hiroyuki Hosoda, the same group’s new Secretary-General Koichi Hagiuda, and the Komeito Party’s most enthusiastic IR advocate, Kiyohiko Toyama.
Representing the international IR operators on stage were Francis Lui of Galaxy, Lawrence Ho of Melco, Jason Hyland of MGM, William Shen of Caesars, and Keith Henry of Wynn. Sega Sammy’s Haruki Satomi represented Japan’s own potential IR operators.
There were also representatives of some of the interested regional governments, Japanese business leaders, and other industry analysts.