Fumiko Hayashi

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    Yukio Fujiki

    The “Don of Yokohama” declares war on pro-casino politicians

    The so-called “Don of Yokohama,” Chairman Yukio Fujiki of the Yokohama Port Harbor Resort Association, effectively declared political war on Monday on all local politicians who support IR development in the city in defiance of the will of the public majority.
    Hayashi Fujimoto

    Second anti-casino candidate enters Yokohama mayoral race

    A second candidate with an anti-casino policy platform has entered the Yokohama mayoral race, recently announced to be scheduled for August 22.

    Yokohama mayor under fire for pro-IR messaging

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is facing the ire of opposition councilmen both for the pro-IR pamphlet distributed by her administration that does not admit any negative effects of hosting a casino, as well as repeated challenges to her position that a popular referendum is unneeded.

    Yokohama mayor tries to divert public attention from IR development issue

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is trying to divert public attention away from the IR development issue, saying that the upcoming mayoral elections should not be fought over this one issue alone, and downplaying its significance.
    Fumiko Hayashi

    Possibility emerges Yokohama mayor will not run for reelection

    It has been the basic assumption within the IR development community that incumbent Fumiko Hayashi would be running for reelection as Yokohama mayor when her third term expires this coming August. But that prospect now appears less certain than it once did.

    Yokohama mayor’s health condition eliciting concern

    An unexpected factor may impact the crucial Yokohama mayoral election scheduled for August, and that is the fact that 74-year-old Fumiko Hayashi may be in failing health.

    Yokohama expected to launch its RFP process shortly

    The administration of Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is expected to announce shortly the start of its RFP process to build a major urban IR at Yamashita Pier, potentially becoming the largest IR development in Japan.
    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

    Mayoral election now key to Yokohama IR development

    When Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi announced at a press conference three months ago that she would respect the outcome of any popular referendum on IR development, we took her at her word.

    Opposition party conducts symposium against Yokohama IR

    The Kanagawa chapter of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan held an online symposium on Monday opposing IR development in Yokohama and began the process of raising a candidate against Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.

    IR development and democracy

    We are coming off a very difficult week in which one of the world’s primary temples of democracy, the US Capitol Building, was stormed by an angry mob, leaving five people dead and much of the world shaken. Does this pose any special concerns for the Asian gaming industry?
    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

    Yokohama mayor violates promise to respect IR referendum

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is effectively violating her promise to respect the results of a popular referendum on IR development.

    Yokohama publishes IR Facebook page

    The municipal government of Yokohama took a small step forward on Thursday by launching a Japanese-language Facebook page to promote its IR initiative.
    Yukio Fujiki

    Yokohama IR battle lines harden

    Barring some truly dramatic event, it is already clear Yokohama faces a year of battle over IR development in 2021, pushing other public issues to the margins. Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi’s mayoral term comes to an end in August 2021.

    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.

    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 Fumiko Hayashi

    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 […]

    Public opposition to Yokohama IR appears to intensify

    It has often been suggested that Japanese local communities will become more understanding of IR development projects once their nature is better explained, but public opinion polling in the city of Yokohama seems to be showing the opposite trend. According to exit polls at the time of the July 2017 mayoral elections, three years ago, […]

    The partial retirement of the “Don of Yokohama”

    The “Don of Yokohama” has made a big move, but it may take some weeks or months to determine exactly what it signifies.

    Recall campaign against Yokohama mayor could be formidable

    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.

    Recall campaign against Yokohama mayor to launch in October

    Anti-casino groups are preparing to launch their recall campaign against pro-IR Mayor Fumiko Hayashi in October, after having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The drive had already netted about 35,000 signatures before Covid-19 shut down these efforts, and the organizers hope to collect 500,000 more signatures in October and November, thus triggering a recall. […]

    Anti-casino group files lawsuit against Yokohama mayor to stop IR development

    An anti-casino group called Kanagawa Citizens’ Ombudsman has filed a lawsuit against Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, arguing that her policy of seeking to establish an IR at the Yamashita Pier site violates the legal duty of local governments to provide for the public welfare. “Without effective regulations to prevent gambling addiction, the local government nevertheless […]

    Yokohama announces two-month delay in IR schedule

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has announced a two-month delay in the city’s IR development schedule as a result of various Covid-19 related disruptions. “Considering the spread of the novel coronavirus, we should concentrate on the things which are most important,” the mayor explained. As a result of the delay, the city’s implementation plan, which was […]

    Yokohama anti-casino groups suspend signature drive over Covid-19

    The confrontation between the Yokohama municipal government and anti-casino citizen groups extended yet further over the approach to the state of emergency declaration and Covid-19 countermeasures. A coalition of citizens groups aiming for a popular referendum on the city’s IR development plans told the media on Wednesday that although they had gathered thousands of volunteers […]

    Yokohama IR plans face recall and referendum movements

    Political parties and citizens opposed to an IR bid at Yamashita Pier are launching movements both to recall Fumiko Hayashi as mayor of Yokohama as well as to subject any casino construction plans to a popular referendum.
    Japan, Yokohama (generic)

    Yokohama City Council committee approves IR budget

    A committee of the Yokohama City Council wasted little time in approving an amended budget including expenses for IR development, angering the opposition which denounced the move as contrary to the democratic spirit.
    Fumiko Hayashi

    Yokohama mayor cites “sense of crisis” for IR development

    After two-and-a-half years of repeating that she was a “blank slate” on IR development, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi’s now says she feels “a sense of crisis” that the city’s IR bid must go forward. 

    Chorus of opposition rises against Yokohama mayor over IR bid

    Yokohama Harbor Transport Association Chairman Yukio Fujiki may be the top leader of the opposition to an IR bid at Yamashita Pier, but a chorus of other voices arose last week, making clear that he is far from alone, and that Mayor Fumiko Hayashi will be facing heavy dissent over her unpopular decision. Yukio Edano, […]
    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

    Yokohama Chamber of Commerce presses mayor to launch IR bid

    The Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry has publicly urged Mayor Fumiko Hayashi to come off the fence and to quickly make a decision in favor of launching an IR bid.
    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi

    Yokohama mayor: more watching and waiting

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, the self-described “blank slate” on an IR bid, is becoming clear about one point—don’t expect her to make a decision soon. At her Wednesday press conference, she clarified that any local decision on making an IR bid will not be forthcoming until after the central government has published the more detailed […]
    Fumiko Hayashi

    Yokohama mayor still sounds like an IR bid advocate

    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 […]

    Mayor Hayashi sees no room for two IR bids in the capital region

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi made clear at a press conference on Friday that she expected only one IR to be licensed within the Kanto region, an area which includes Tokyo, Yokohama, and Chiba. Mayor Hayashi was asked at her regular press conference her thoughts about the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s recent moves to study an IR […]

    IR market projections may be too rosy

    While many industry analysts continue to assume that either Tokyo or Yokohama will pursue an IR bid, the political realities of Japanese local communities seem to indicate otherwise. In the case of Tokyo, it’s entirely unclear why analysts should believe there’s a serious possibility that it will seek an IR at this time. The metropolitan […]

    Yokohama mayor maintains ‘wait and see’ IR stance

    In spite of the widespread view that the terms of the IR Implementation Bill are shaping up to be more favorable to major urban markets rather than regional locations, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is again reaffirming the “blank slate” position which she first adopted over a year ago, in January 2017. In her regular press […]

    Yokohama divided on IR policy

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi sketched out in slightly more detail her policy on the possibility of bidding for an IR at her city’s Yamashita Pier location. Her basic message was as follows: “Until the national policy becomes fully apparent, we remain a blank slate on this matter.” Mayor Hayashi did clarify that once the national […]

    Yokohama IR bid stuck in neutral

    Since her impressive victory a month ago in a hard-fought reelection effort, eyes have been focused on Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, trying to forecast whether she will return to her IR advocacy of last year, or else back away from the proposal in light of the strongly negative public opinion in her city. The answer […]

    Pro-IR Hayashi to run for reelection

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, previously known to support the idea of integrated resorts, has formally announced she will run for reelection against a candidate opposed to casinos, according to local sources. Hayashi had previously favored hosting an integrated resort in the city to spur economic growth, but later admitted it would be difficult to formulate […]
    Japan, Yokohama (generic)

    Yokohama bid holds promise and perils

    Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi's announcement that her government would make an IR bid reshaped the licensing race in a way that few other events have done.

    Murky Prospects for Yokohama IR

    Most gaming industry analysis currently predicts that the city of Yokohama may very well become the host for Japan’s largest IR in the mid-2020s. Situated in Kanagawa Prefecture as part of Japan’s capital region—with its vast population of tens of millions—almost any major IR operator would love to have a piece of this action; but even should Japan’s IR Implementation Bill pass smoothly through the national legislature, it remains far from clear that Yokohama will actually decide to seek a license. The region's residents go to the polls on Sunday to choose a new mayor, with two candidates opposing the incumbent on an anti-casino platform.  

    Japan’s casino debate goes local

    The passage of Japan’s Casino Bill into law in the early morning hours of December 15, 2016, was achieved only after a bruising political struggle. The administration of Shinzo Abe had waited too long into the Extraordinary Diet Session to begin the deliberations on the bill and thus was forced to steamroll over the opposition parties in a clumsy, ad hoc fashion. However, after