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 shouldn’t we also be examining the direction of these businesses in the post-coronavirus era?”

Last month, the Yokohama city government indefinitely postponed publication of its own IR implementation policy due to uncertainty over the national government’s policies and timelines.

At present, Yokohama, Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki have declared interest in bidding for the three available IR licenses. Tokyo and Aichi are considered to be potential late entries to the race.