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A poll conducted by the Nihon Keizai Shinbun and TV Osaka suggests that local opposition to the construction of the proposed IR at Yumeshima in Osaka may be increasing, with 52 percent opposed versus 37 percent in favor.
If it can be said that Yoshihide Suga’s emergence as prime minister of Japan is something of a poisoned chalice for Yokohama’s IR bid, for the leaders of Osaka, it is, in contrast, both uncomplicated and quite beneficial.
“The casino issue is symbolic of the clear confrontational axis between top-down politics and grassroots politics… We cannot let matters continue as they have under the Abe administration.” So declared Leader of the Opposition Yukio Edano on Wednesday while touring Yamashita Pier, the proposed site for Yokohama’s major urban IR.
The emergence of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as the all-but-certain next prime minister of Japan is good news for Japan’s pro-IR community. However, even with a solid friend in the Kantei, there’s plenty of reason to believe that the government is about to hit the brakes.
A year ago there were many things uncertain about IR development in Japan, but if there was one thing you could depend upon—one prediction that could be made with near total confidence—it was that the man-made island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay was destined to become host to one of the biggest and grandest IRs in the world.
It has often been suggested that Japanese local communities will become more understanding of IR development projects once their nature is better explained, but...
In the summer of 2017, Fumiko Hayashi won reelection as mayor of Yokohama claiming to be a “blank slate” but in reality favoring IR development in her city. Anti-casino activists believe that history may be repeating itself; this time with Governor Yuriko Koike in neighboring Tokyo.
All of the candidate locations seeking IR development are facing local citizen protests of one sort or another, but the one that really deserves attention is the recall campaign against Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.
Japan has seen numerous twists and turns in its bid to establish an integrated resort industry, though perhaps one of the most unwelcome was the arrest of a deputy minister at the centre of a money-for-favours scandal surrounding IR development plans for Okinawa and Hokkaido.
Never a popular policy in the first place, the recent casino bribery scandal has lowered Japanese public support for the construction of domestic IRs...