Yokohama opposition still seeking anti-IR mayoral candidate

Yokohama’s mayoral elections will be held on Sunday, August 22.
Yokohama’s mayoral elections will be held on Sunday, August 22.

Yokohama’s mayoral elections are only two months away and the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is still looking for a strong anti-IR candidate.

Japan.- Time is ticking and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) still hasn’t selected its anti-IR candidate for Yokohama’s mayoral elections to be held on Sunday, August 22.

The CDPJ had hoped to select a unified candidate by April. The second-largest opposition party in the country, the Japan Communist Party, offered to withdraw its independent candidate to give more chances to a single anti-IR candidate, but the CDPJ appears to be unsure about the strategy.

There are currently two independent anti-IR candidates who have launched their respective campaigns.

Masataka Ota is a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party who has expressed his stance against Yokohama participating in a bid for an integrated resort licence.

Then there’s Akiko Fujimura, the representative director of an animal welfare group, who has stated that if she wins the election, she will order the immediate cancellation of the city’s IR project.

On the other side of the fence, current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi has yet to announce whether she will run for a fourth term in office.

In May, 90-year-old Yukio Fujiki, chairman of the Yokohama Port Harbor Resort Association and a strong opponent against the development of an IR in Yokohama launched an organisation called “Yokohama Future Concept Conference”.

At an inaugural conference, Fujiki criticised Japan’s pro-IR Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, saying he had betrayed people through the IR initiative.

Only two companies remain in contest for Yokoham’s IR bid

Genting Singapore and Melco Resorts are the only IR contenders to reach the final stage of Yokohama process to select an IR partner.

Galaxy Entertainment dropped out, saying the business climate had been “exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.” Sega Sammy then said it would only seek a minority stake in the development.

As for the other remaining contender, Shotoku, the Yokohama city government said its bid was below minimum requirements so authorities dismissed its application.

According to analysts, the Yokohama 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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Genting Singapore integrated resorts Melco Resorts