Yokohama IR bid stuck in neutral

Since her impressive victory a month ago in a hard-fought reelection effort, eyes have been focused on Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, trying to forecast whether she will return to her IR advocacy of last year, or else back away from the proposal in light of the strongly negative public opinion in her city.

The answer that seems to be emerging is that Mayor Hayashi is now playing a waiting game, watching the political winds and in the meantime keeping her future options open.

In fact, this is what she herself stated fairly clearly on the evening of July 30, just as the voting results were recording her victory: “During the election campaign I heard voices of approval and voices of anxiety. I would like to conduct serious research from a neutral position while watching the movements of the country.”

A month later, she isn’t saying much more than that. Asked by a major newspaper in an interview published yesterday her views on hosting an IR, her response was, “I cannot yet fully explain the merits to the citizenry.”

Asia Gaming Brief asked Kazuyoshi Nagashima, who placed second among the three candidates in last month’s Yokohama mayoral race, about his interpretation of Mayor Hayashi’s latest comments.

He offered two insights. First, he believes Mayor Hayashi is waiting to see the comprehensive national policies on combating gambling addiction. Before committing herself, she wants to understand whether or not the national addiction countermeasures are credible and will meet with a degree of popular acceptance.

Secondly, Nagashima reckons that Mayor Hayashi will also wait until after the next general election to determine the trajectory of national policies on IRs.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe can call a general election at his own discretion, but he must do so by December 2018 at the latest.

Related Articles

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

Mayoral election now key to Yokohama IR development

When Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi announced at a press conference three months ago that she would respect the outcome of any popular referendum on IR development, we took her at her word.

Opposition party conducts symposium against Yokohama IR

The Kanagawa chapter of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan held an online symposium on Monday opposing IR development in Yokohama and began the process of raising a candidate against Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.

IR development and democracy

We are coming off a very difficult week in which one of the world’s primary temples of democracy, the US Capitol Building, was stormed by an angry mob, leaving five people dead and much of the world shaken. Does this pose any special concerns for the Asian gaming industry?
Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

Yokohama mayor violates promise to respect IR referendum

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is effectively violating her promise to respect the results of a popular referendum on IR development.

Yokohama publishes IR Facebook page

The municipal government of Yokohama took a small step forward on Thursday by launching a Japanese-language Facebook page to promote its IR initiative.
Yukio Fujiki

Yokohama IR battle lines harden

Barring some truly dramatic event, it is already clear Yokohama faces a year of battle over IR development in 2021, pushing other public issues to the margins. Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi’s mayoral term comes to an end in August 2021.

Yokohama Chamber of Commerce reiterates its IR advocacy

The Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry has reiterated its strong support for IR development in the city, even as Mayor Fumiko Hayashi stated that she would respect the results of a popular referendum that went against the initiative.
Hayashi IR

Yokohama mayor gives first nod to democracy

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has, for the very first time, acknowledged that the people of her city might actually have a voice in whether or not to build a major IR along the coastline.

Yokohama mayor says she would respect IR referendum result

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi stated for the first time that should the city be forced to hold a referendum on IR development and lose the vote, she would respect the people’s decision and withdraw the city’s candidacy.

Japan IRs have a new schedule

After spending most of this year in denial or else paralyzed by the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Japanese central government has finally made a credible decision about its IR development plans, which is to push back the timeline by nine months.