Japan: only 2 locations submit IR proposals

The only contenders are Osaka and Nagasaki.
The only contenders are Osaka and Nagasaki.

As the deadline for applications closes, Japan’s central government has confirmed that only Osaka and Nagasaki have submitted bids to develop IRs.

Japan.- The closing of the application window for Japan’s proposed three integrated resort licences has passed with only two bids submitted. The two contenders are Osaka and Nagasaki. They both submitted IR District Development Plans that were approved by their city councils and then prefectural assemblies.

Hirofumi Yoshimura, governor of Osaka Prefecture, and Kengo Oishi, governor of Nagasaki Prefecture, submitted their respective development plans to the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism on Tuesday, April 26.

Wakayama and Yokohama, two other potential applicants, didn’t submit proposals. In Wakayama, the City’s prefectural assembly voted against submitting a bid due to concerns that planning and fundraising for the project were unclear.

Yokohama withdrew its IR plans last year after Takeharu Yamanaka won the mayoral elections. He had been opposed to the development of an integrated resort, arguing that it could cause a rise in gambling addiction.

With up to three licences available and only two applications, it’s believed that Japan may open a new round of applications not so far into the future.

The method established by the national government in December 2020 for judging bids states that applications will be judged based on a points scale of up to 1,000 under five key criteria:

  • The commitment of the IR to the Japanese travel industry (up to 450 points).
  • The capacity to run a safe business (200 points).
  • The national economic and social effects (150 points).
  • Programmes to address gambling-related harm (150 points).
  • The use of casino revenue for the public good (50 points).
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