Yokohama business leaders again push for IR bid

Yokohama business leaders used the opportunity of a conference on Saturday to renew their request for the municipal government to make a bid for an IR license.

“We are convinced that it will contribute to Yokohama’s economic revitalization and the sustainable development,” declared Morihiko Kawamoto, vice-president of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry and president of the Kawamoto Industry Corporation, a construction-related firm.

The event was the 24th Yokohama Business Council, a series which originally launched in 1983 and under the auspices of the Junior Chamber International Yokohama. This organization has been renewing its call for an IR bid for the past five years.

However, the pro-IR sentiment among Yokohama business leaders is far from unanimous, with Chairman Yukio Fujiki of the Yokohama Harbor Transport Association being one of the most outspoken opponents of hosting a casino at the prospective Yamashita Pier location.

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi claims to be a “blank slate” on the matter, but she has launched an RFI process related to the possibility of an IR bid.