Yokohama mayor rules out referendum on IR

Yokohama will go ahead with its IR bid despite public criticism.
Yokohama will go ahead with its IR bid despite public criticism.

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has said she will continue to work towards an IR bid despite public criticism.

Japan.- Yokohama’s mayor, Fumiko Hayashi, has ruled out a referendum on an IR, saying that her administration will continue to work alongside the national government to develop the prefecture’s bid for an integrated resort despite opposition.

Hayashi said at a city council meeting: “IR is not something that should be decided by referendum. We are operating within the guidelines of the national government.”

The comments were directed to the residents’ group, the Yokohama Citizens’ Group to Decide on a Casino, which has been gathering signatures since September 4 to demand a referendum on whether or not to continue with the IR plans.

Hayashi said that introducing IRs was a national government policy. She said: “There will be people for it and against it. We will continue with considerations based on the budget decisions of the city council, who represent the city’s residents”.

Critics point out that when she was elected for her third term in the 2017 mayoral election, she had declared she was personally undecided on an IR bid.

Hayashi said: “All of my policies are decided after discussions with the city council. I would never take action based on my own, personal decisions.”

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