Jim Murren, the Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International – one of the leading candidates for IR development in Japan – met with the Governor of Osaka, Ichiro Matsui, and the Mayor of Osaka city, Hirofumi Yoshimura, on Thursday, stating that he considered Osaka the best candidate city in the race for a Japanese IR license.
The meeting preceded the launch of MGM’s Osaka office today, with a launch party set to be held at a prestigious hotel in the city as MGM further establishes a foothold.
“We are making progress in discussions with Japanese corporations to form a consortium,” said Murren as quoted by Nikkei Asian Review, the MGM Resorts boss making it clear the company is moving forward in its Japanese IR preparations and hinting that Osaka was its preferred partner city.
“We will support Osaka in obtaining IR certification.”
Governor Matsui announced on Wednesday that public offerings from operators would begin this Spring in preparation for the operator selection process, adding he “requested that Murren make a pro-active proposal.”
Murren, dressed in a traditional Japanese yukata while attending the Tenjin Festival last July, stated at the time, “We want to get to understand Osaka better and I want them to understand MGM better. That’s why we’ve attended this festival. Osaka is the best.”
Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Genting have already opened Osaka offices and are collecting information as the PR battle heats up.