Yokohama mayor maintains ‘wait and see’ IR stance

In spite of the widespread view that the terms of the IR Implementation Bill are shaping up to be more favorable to major urban markets rather than regional locations, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is again reaffirming the “blank slate” position which she first adopted over a year ago, in January 2017.

In her regular press conference on April 4 and in other interviews, she says her position is still a “blank slate.” On the one hand, she notes that many in the business community are enthusiastic about the opportunity of establishing an IR at Yamashita Pier. On the other hand, she states, “We have not yet seen clearly what will be the gambling anti-addiction measures. What effects might such an addiction have on our children? The voices in opposition are strong.”

Among the strongest advocates of an IR are the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well as the Keikyu Corporation (which reportedly aims to be a partner in an IR consortium).

A key opponent is Chairman Yukio Fujiki of the Yokohama Harbor Transport Association, who, in a March 14 event before an audience of about six hundred local residents, cited not only the gambling addiction issue, but also his determination not to “hand over Yamashita Pier to the international finance mafia.”

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