Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi maintains her “blank slate” position on IRs.
Japan.- Yokohama is one of the top candidates to host an integrated resort (IR) once the industry gets regulated, but its Mayor remains neutral on the matter. Even as recent information revealed that the IR Implementation Bill favours major urban markets, Fumiko Hayashi has reaffirmed her “blank slate” position as she has since January 2017.
“We have not yet seen clearly what will be the gambling anti-addiction measures. What effects might such an addiction have on our children? The voices in opposition are strong,” she said. However, she highlighted the enthusiasm of the business community regarding a potential IR to be established at Yamashite Pier.
Despite the potential an IR has to boost an economy, there has been some opposition to a Yokohama project. Yokohama Harbor Transport Association chairman Yukio Fujiki is one of the main opponents to the development, as he believes it would foment gambling addiction and even declared against “handing over Yamashita Pier to the international finance mafia.”
Despite Mr Fujiki’s bold statements, there’s a huge expectation for what an IR could trigger in the business community. One of the main supporters of the project is the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce & Industry, which is a strong advocate for Yokohama’s candidacy, as well as Keikyu Corporation, which could even be a partner in a potential IR consortium.