Yokohama’s pro-IR mayor runs for reelection

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi of Yokohama, Japan, announced on Tuesday (local time) that he will seek a fourth term. Hayashi, who supports the city’s efforts to attract casino resorts, became the ninth challenger. Seven of the candidates are reportedly opposed to Yokohama City’s casino business.

The 75-year-old mayor told reporters on Thursday that the proposal to host a casino complex known as an integrated resort (IR) in Japan was “critical for the future of Yokohama.”

“I will continue to push (the IR plan),” she quoted Japan’s newswire service support press as saying.

According to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, Mr. Hayashi has the support of one of the city’s largest business groups, led by the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce. The latter group is reportedly Yokohama’s largest business group and has supported the city’s IR policy.

Last week, the Yokohama branch of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decided to allow a free voting system in the upcoming mayoral elections, paving the way for some members to support Mr. Hayashi.

The decision came after Hachiro Okonogi, leader of Japan’s lower house of parliament’s Liberal Democratic Party, announced that he would participate in the election for mayor of Yokohama and would oppose the city’s IR plan. Okonogi, described as a close ally of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, was chairman of Japan’s National Public Security Commission until the end of June.

Okonogi’s move means the anti-IR vote could be further split in the race for Yokohama mayor. Plans for the casino resort have long faced stiff opposition from local residents. In January, the Yokohama City Council rejected proposals for a referendum on the issue, while the Liberal Democrats and Komeito lawmakers voted against it.

Yokohama in June wrapped up its filing period of a Request for Offer (RFP) for its commercial partners with interest in acquiring the casino complex. Genting Singapore, the operator of Singapore’s casino venue Resorts World Sentosa, and Melco Resorts and Entertainment, the casino operator, were identified as the two candidates for the contest. A decision on the winning offer is expected in the coming months.

Japan’s IR implementation law is a key law in Japan’s move toward the licensed casino industry and is set to take effect on July 19, a Cabinet resolution said on Tuesday.

BY: 메이저사이트

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