Osaka has continued to prove proactive in encouraging an IR even as we move into February.
IAG has already reported plans to improve transportation access to Yumeshima, a key IR candidate location, in collaboration with major private railway companies in Kansai to prepare to open for business in 2024. As reported by Nikkei over the weekend, there is also discussion regarding maritime transport with an international passenger terminal considered where large cruise ships can dock, which would also improve ease of access not only from most of the western Japan area, but for inbound visitors as well.
Further, according to this plan, the passenger terminal would be built on the north shore of Yumeshima which is the proposed IR site. There will be direct transportation between the new port and the IR facility.
Osaka Bay comprises of, from south to north, Sakishima, Yumeshima and Mishima – three manmade islands. What is immediately evident to anyone who visits is that the area between Sakishima and Yumeshima has very choppy seas.
On the other hand, the area between Yumeshima and Maishima is sheltered from this and the northern shore of Yumeshima has the geographic advantage of calmer waves. The northwest part of Yumeshima which is currently used as a dock for land reclamation earth and sand was also considered for the terminal location, but it was excluded as an option due to its distance from the IR area.
A symposium on the World Expo and IR will be held in Osaka in collaboration with industry and academia at a private level. Such symposiums have been held on a regular basis, but this is the first iteration that will welcome major overseas IR operator representatives and panelists to mount the platform. These will include MGM Resorts’ Jason Hyland, Las Vegas Sands’ George Tanasijevich and Frederic Winckler from Melco Resorts and Entertainment.