Yokohama: new anti-IR candidate emerges

Yokohama's mayoral elections are scheduled to be held on August 22.
Yokohama's mayoral elections are scheduled to be held on August 22.

Yasuo Tanaka, former governor of Nagano prefecture has announced that he wants to run in the Yokohama mayoral election in August.

Japan.- While the ruling Liberal Democratic Party continues to debate whether to support Hachiro Okonogi as the party’s candidate, yet another anti-IR candidate has emerged for Yokohama’s upcoming mayoral election.

 Yasuo Tanaka, the former governor of Nagano prefecture Tanaka has said he will not support the establishment of an IR in the city, taking the number of anti-IR candidates to seven.

Okonogi himself has come out against IRs, saying: “If I do become mayor, the first thing I will do is stop the Integrated Resort plan.”

The change in political mood could put an end to Yokohama’s integrated resort bid since for now the only clear pro-IR candidate is Mineyuki Fukuda, a former Cabinet Office vice-minister who resigned from the Liberal Democratic Party to join the Party of Hope. 

Current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi, who is approaching the end of her third term, has not yet clarified whether she intends to run for reelection.

Genting Singapore’s IR plans could be halted

Although Genting Singapore was well-positioned to win Yokohama’s tender after the withdrawal of Galaxy Entertainment, it seems the company’s plans could be shelved if an anti-IR candidate finally wins the mayoral elections.

In June, the company announced it was leading a consortium of Japanese partners, including former bidder Sega Sammy Holdings, to create “a world-class IR destination that is strategically positioned, sustainable and anchored on strong local collaborations.”

Sega Sammy hailed Genting Singapore as the best possible partner for an integrated resort due to its successful Resorts World Sentosa operation in Singapore. 

Yokohama’s other IR contender is Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited.

According to analysts, Yokohama’s planned IR development could generate a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of nearly US$7bn a year and US$2.7bn in net profit.

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