Nagasaki prefecture has announced its policy to aim for a bid as an IR location for Japan’s leading amusement park, Huis Ten Bosch, with the goal of opening for business in 2024.
The IR Promotion Office in Sasebo provided details at last week’s Prefectural Assembly General Affairs Committee, with Nagasaki hoping to open in the same year as Osaka prefecture/city and Wakayama prefecture, which are considered to be leading contenders for an IR.
According to the IR Promotion Office in Sasebo, it has already exchanged opinions with over 20 overseas IR operators from North America, Europe and Asia, and based on the opinions of certain intellectuals is planning to select one company for operations by 2020, at which time it will apply to the national government for area authorization.
The IR Promotion Office also said there was at least one operator of those 20 willing to invest JPY400 billion (US$3.6 billion).
“There is a possibility of even better job creation and economic ripple effect than we currently expect,” it said, according to local media reports.
The next step is to consider the scale of operator investment, compliance with laws and how an IR might contribute to the region, then move forward with the selection process.
According to the IR Development Act, a maximum of three locations will be approved for IR during the first round and the government has the mid-2020s in mind for opening. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is expected to confirm and publicize the basic policies for authorization this summer.
There is significance in Nagasaki announcing an expected opening period, as this potentially fills the third open seat. It will be interesting to see how other regions, including Hokkaido, react to this announcement. The unified local government elections scheduled for March are also in an unpredictable state at this time.