It has become clear that the format for the double election for Osaka prefectural governor and Osaka city mayor to take place on 7 April will be Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) versus anti-Ishin, and the focus will be on Ishin’s Osaka Metropolis Plan.
According to the Asahi Shimbun, Hirofumi Yoshimura, Ishin candidate for governor, asserts that with the metropolis plan, “Osaka will grow by unifying the city and the prefecture.”
To counter this, the Liberal Democrat Party’s Tadakazu Konishi claims, “The metropolis plan is a great waste of money. Just considering the confusion resulting from the transfer of responsibilities, this topic merits no further discussion.”
Both Ishin and the LDP asserted their positions of welcoming and agreeing the Osaka/Kansai Expo and IR. Matsui and Yoshimura of the Innovation Party reasserted their previous stance that they want to make Osaka the greatest entertainment city in the world.
On the other hand, in a rebuke against the aggressive stance of Ishin, Konishi said, “It is vital that we gain the understanding of the residents and not be slaves to the schedule,” out of consideration for the Communist Party, who is against an IR.
Unlike other local governments, an IR is not officially a subject of debate in Osaka’s election. However, if the LDP win, it is likely that plans to open an IR by 2024 will run into obstacles.