The newly established IR opposition group aims to promote a unified candidate to stand against Yokohama’s integrated resort plans.
Japan.- A group of residents has established a new IR opposition group called “Yokohama Citizens Association for a Mayor Opposing a Casino”.
The group has been formed by residents who previously requested a referendum on Yokohama’s plans to develop an Integrated Resort. Yokohama City Council rejected that call although more than 200,000 people signed a petition.
The IR opposition group aims to support a single opposition mayoral candidate to stand against the city’s plans. Masataka Ota has already promised to stand on an anti-IR ticket.
The incumbent pro-IR mayor, Fumiko Hayashi has not yet clarified whether she intends to run for reelection.
Fumiko Hayashi issues pro-IR promotional material on benefits for the city
Hayashi has published 855,000 copies of a pamphlet promoting the benefits of an Integrated Resort in Yokohama.
The document has been widely criticised by the IR opposition group, which argues that it downplays the casino part of the proposed delvelopment.
Yasuhiko Furuya of the Japan Communist Party said: “Why isn’t there a single word written about the fact that the IR facilities and operations would be supported by casino revenues?”
According to Furuya, the document says the casino will cover less than 3 per cent of the floor area and will be located away from pedestrian passages.
The IR opposition group criticised the council for using taxpayer money to produce a subjective document.
The pamphlet also claims that social security expenses will increase due to an aging population. It says: “As one of the policies to overcome this difficult situation and to support our further progress as an attractive city with an affluent lifestyle, Yokohama city is promoting efforts toward the realisation of an IR.”