Yokohama dropping out of IR race won’t impact Osaka: Governor

Osaka governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said that the withdrawal of Yokohama from the integrated resort race will not impact their own IR plans, local media reports. 

“Regardless of the trend in Yokohama, I would like to proceed by achieving the world’s highest level of IR. I don’t think the intention of Mayor Yamanaka will affect Osaka.” he said. 

Last Friday, new Yokohama mayor Takeharu Yamanaka confirmed that the city will no longer be chasing the development of an integrated resort. 

Yoshimura had previously said that he didn’t believe Yamanaka’s victory in the Yokohama mayoral race was due to opposition to casinos, but rather the previous mayor’s handling of the pandemic and continuing concerns. 

“It may be that the city’s elections were dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 is increasing rapidly in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, and Mr. Yamanaka, who is an expert on the coronavirus, may have gained the confidence of its residents,” he said. 

Osaka is moving ahead with an IR, with MGM Resorts and Orix Corp. selected as a consortium partner in a $9.1 billion plan.