Yokohama: pro-IR mayor to run for fourth term

Yokohama's current mayor intends to stand for reelection.
Yokohama's current mayor intends to stand for reelection.

Pro-IR Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi has confirmed she intends to run for a fourth term in office at elections in August.

Japan.- Yokohama’s current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi has finally confirmed that she wants to run for reelection.

Hayashi will be backed by the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry and by part of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Some of the party’s members have shown a preference for anti-IR Hachiro Okonogi.

According to local media reports, Hayashi could win due to a large number of anti-IR candidates. However, due to the large number of people who are against the development of an IR, she is unlikely to win over 50 per cent of the votes.

Anti-IR candidates include Takeharu Yamanaka, who has been chosen as the candidate to represent the CDPJ.

Yamanaka is 48 years old and works as a professor at Yokohama City University. He is specialized in public health and medical statistics and has recently been working on anti-Covid-19 countermeasures.

He’s known to disagree with the development of an integrated resort, arguing that it could cause issues with gambling addiction.

Other candidates include Masataka Ota and Akiko Fujimura. The first is 75 years old and a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party. He has been elected to the Yokohama City Council for 11 four-year periods since the 1970s.

Ota said: “If I become the mayor of Yokohama, the casino issue will disappear that very day. To put it plainly, I will not do casinos.”

Akiko Fujimura is the representative director of an animal welfare group. She supported current mayor Fumiko Hayashi in the 2017 election.

Fujimura said she will declare the immediate cancellation of the Yokohama IR project if she becomes mayor.

The latest to join the list of anti-IR candidates was Yasuo Tanaka, the former governor of Nagano prefecture who has said he will not support the establishment of an IR in the city.

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