Yokohama: unexpected anti-IR mayoral candidate could emerge

The Liberal Democratic Party may not support Fumiko Hayashi to run again in Yokohama.
The Liberal Democratic Party may not support Fumiko Hayashi to run again in Yokohama.

The Liberal Democratic Party could support an anti-IR mayoral candidate instead of the current mayor Fumiko Hayashi.

Japan.- Yokohama IR plans could at greater risk than expected after it emerged that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) may not support Yokohama’s current pro-IR mayor Fumiko Hayashi for a fourth term.

Instead of Hayashi, the LDP could put opt for National Public Safety Commission chairman Hachiro Okonogi who has spoken against the current IR plans.

It seems that as criticism against the proposed IR grows, the Liberal Democratic Party may have decided to change its strategy and row back on integrated resort plans in order to avoid losing power.

It is unknown if Fumiko Hayashi will quietly move aside or if she will run as a pro-IR candidate anyway, perhaps with the support of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Although there’s been no official announcement, it appears that Takeharu Yamanaka may have been chosen as the candidate to represent the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

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.

Although the Japan Communist Party has not made any comments regarding Yamanaka yet, it is expected the party will also support him as a unique candidate.

It’s also expected that Yukio Fujiki, chairman of the Yokohama Port Harbor Resort Association and a strong opponent against the development of an IR, may also give his approval to the selection of Yamanaka as the main opposition candidate.

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