Tourism minister insists no delay in IR development schedule

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Kazuyoshi Akaba insisted in Diet debate on Monday that there would be no change in the nation’s IR development schedule as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

“I have heard that each local government is making their preparations and the current situation is not hindering them,” the minister stated.

Local governments such as Yokohama, Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki have all indicated that they will be proceeding with their own operator selection schedules so long as the national timeline doesn’t change.

The current national schedule stipulates that applications for the three available IR licenses will be accepted from the local governments and their operator consortium partners between January 4 and July 30, 2021.

Akaba’s own ministry was expected to issue a basic plan in January, but this information has been indefinitely delayed, forcing local governments and operators to make their plans without a lot of key regulatory matters being decided, including issues such as taxation.