Yokohama group demands referendum over IR plans

Two groups are campaigning against the proposed casino development.
Two groups are campaigning against the proposed casino development.

Two citizen groups are collecting signatures against a planned IR in the city.

Japan.- Two citizen groups in Yokohama are collecting signatures against the city’s IR plans.

One of the groups is collecting signatures to demand a referendum on the proposed casino development, while the other is calling for the resignation of the city’s mayor.

The first groups is led by constitutional scholar Setsu Kobayashi. It is collecting signatures to deliver to the Yokohama City Council when it reconvenes in January 2021 with the aim of triggering a public referendum in around May 2021.

Kobayashi said in a press conference that due to pandemic the number of signatures has been lower than it would be, but that the intention of the campaign is to increase political pressure on the city government.

The result of any referendum would not be legally binding. As a result, the other anti-casino citizen group has said Kobayashi’s campaign is meaningless. It is aiming instead to remove Mayor Fumiko Hayashi from office as the only way to stop IR developments.

Japan’s national policy on integrated resorts has been postponed, while it is expected that the exit of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could also delay matters further.

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IR Japan legislation Yokohama