Yokohama mayor still sounds like an IR bid advocate

Fumiko Hayashi (file)
Fumiko Hayashi (file)

Since January 2017 Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has insisted that she is a “blank slate” on the issue an making an IR bid, but her actions and the logic of the few public statements that she makes continues to suggest that she remains the IR advocate that she had been up to the end of 2016.

The latest indication comes from her July 3 press conference. While acknowledging that the citizen briefings held in June once again revealed strong public doubts about an IR bid, she still insisted that public “understanding was deepened.” It’s not clear that there is actually any evidence to back her assertion.

Even more clear is her response to the anti-casino proposals of Yokohama Harbor Transport Association and the Yokohama Harbor Resort Association. While thanking them deeply for submitting their alternative development plans, she observed that “it would be difficult to operate the whole facility without a casino.”

This response is effectively a rejection of the core argument that has been advanced by Chairman Yukio Fujiki about his preferred development strategies for the Yamashita Pier site, and it strongly suggests that she is dismissing out of hand his alternative plan for a MICE facility without a casino.

Mayor Hayashi also declared that she would make the final decision herself and is not considering any democratic input from the residents of Yokohama, such as a referendum.

On the other hand, she also indicated that her decision on an IR bid wouldn’t be forthcoming anytime soon.

SHARE
Previous articleCasino tax hike not as bad as expected, say analysts
Next articleHokkaido environmental group opposes IR bid

Related Articles

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.
Tokyo-Fuji-cityscape

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.

Yokohama seeks dialogue with operators on impact of pandemic

Recognizing that the Covid-19 pandemic may have exercised an important impact on IR development, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has indicated that her municipal administration would seek a dialogue on this issue with interested IR operators. “The revitalization of tourism and the MICE industry is indispensable for the long-term advance of Yokohama’s economy,” Hayashi declared, “but […]

Yokohama anti-casino signature drives preparing to launch

The two major citizen group efforts to head off IR development plans in Yokohama are preparing to launch their signature drives, keeping the political pressure on even as national policy has stalled. Launching first, from September 4 until November 4, is the petition demanding a popular referendum over the city’s IR development plans. The aim […]

Yokohama mayor indefinitely delays IR development plans

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi stated at a press conference that her city would not be issuing its local IR implementation policy this month, as planned, and that the delay would be indefinite until the central government revealed its own directions. Hayashi did indicate, however, that her firm intention to build a major IR at Yamashita […]

October start for signature drive to recall pro-IR Yokohama mayor

A citizens group opposing the development of the Yokohama IR has affirmed that its signature drive to trigger a recall vote against Mayor Fumiko Hayashi will kick off in October. The organizers need to gather about 500,000 signatures in a two month period from the city’s population of about 3,760,000 people, regarded as a high […]

Yokohama mayor: local IR plans must wait on central government policy

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has acknowledged that her city’s implementation policies, originally scheduled for publication in June, must wait until after the central government finally issues its long overdue IR Basic Plan. She added that any prospect that her city could publish its implementation policies by the end of August had now dried up. “We […]

Yokohama mayor supports current IR development schedule

Although she regards the January to July 2021 application window for IR licensing to be “pretty strict,” Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi made clear that her municipality would not be requesting any policy change from the central government. “It’s not a good thing for the national schedule to change,” she remarked, “We are not requesting any […]