IR supporter to become Prime Minister of Japan

Japan is due to grant three IR licences in 2021.
Japan is due to grant three IR licences in 2021.

Yoshihide Suga has been selected to succeed Shinzo Abe as president of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Japan.- The Secretary of State Yoshihide Suga was elected on Monday as the new president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), paving the way for him to succeed Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister.  

Shinzo Abe resigned from the position at the end of August due to health concerns. Yoshihide Suga will become the 99th Prime Minister of Japan.

The 71-year-old politician secured 377 votes, beating contenders Fumio Kishida (89 votes) and Shigeru Ishiba (68 votes).

It could be good news for the fate of Japan’s integrated resorts (IR) project, since Suga has shown a firm intention to move forward with the plan to grant three IR licences in 2021.

Suga said in a TV interview recently: “I think that IRs are indispensable for our tourism promotion efforts.

“Although people tend to focus only on the casinos, the government intends to promote IRs as places with various facilities and hotels where families can come and stay during international conferences.”

Suga will be nominated as Prime Minister at an extraordinary Diet session on Wednesday, with the new cabinet to be inaugurated on the same day.

Yokohama, Osaka and Nagasaki are three of the cities in the running to bid for IR licences, although they have had to delay their request-for-proposal processes in light of the absence of a basic policy from national government to select a private partner.

Analysts have said it is likely that Japan will delay its IR development process by about a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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