Local election victories accelerate IR development

If at the beginning of this year one were to sketch out the dream scenario for IR development in Japan, the actual results of April’s Unified Local Elections would greatly resemble that picture, with pro-IR politicians and parties winning almost every battle, and usually winning big. The stakes were arguably the highest in Osaka, the one major urban market where the local government has been moving forward proactively with an IR bid, together with its added bonus of landing the 2025 World Expo for the Yumeshima site. The local ruling party—the Osaka Restoration Association—put it all on the line in the April 7 elections. Not only were the regularly scheduled prefectural assembly and city council elections held on that day, but also the gubernatorial and mayoral elections that had been scheduled for this November. Governor Ichiro Matsui and Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura resigned their posts seven months early and then ran for...

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