Japan Tourism Agency approves Osaka IR implementation plan

Osaka Prefecture selected MGM-Orix as its partner for its IR bid.
Osaka Prefecture selected MGM-Orix as its partner for its IR bid.

The plan has been approved by the Japan Tourism Agency, one of the bodies coordinating the IR approval process at the national level.

Japan.- The Japan Tourism Agency, operating under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, has announced its approval of Osaka’s implementation plan for the development of an integrated resort (IR).

The plan is to be signed between Osaka authorities and the private sector companies responsible for the IR’s development. Once signed, the agreement, referred to as the ‘implementation compact,’ will be made public, as mandated by Japan’s IR act.

Authorities in Osaka have said that the opening date for the IR has been moved back from autumn-winter 2029 to at least autumn 2030. They reported there has been an increase in the initial investment cost, which is expected to rise by JPY190bn (US$1.29bn). Subsequently, a revised Osaka IR District Development Plan was presented to the national government on September 8.

Osaka’s IR project is backed by a consortium that includes MGM Resorts International and Orix. MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle indicated earlier this month that he would travel to Japan on September 29 to finalise the implementation agreement and a lease.

Hornbuckle had previously said that construction would commence late this year or early in 2024. Authorities estimate that once finished, the IR could attract 20 million visitors annually. Japan has a long-term goal of 60 million foreign visitors per year by 2030.

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