Friday’s announcement by Mayor Naomichi Suzuki that Hokkaido would not pursue an IR bid saw swift reaction from rival municipalities in reaffirming their commitment to developing Japan’s first IRs.
Among the first to declare an official response was Osaka city Mayor Ichiro Matsui, who stated, “These sorts of developments don’t affect us. Osaka only needs to depend on its own charms to win a bid.
“We will proceed in arguing Osaka’s need for an IR in order to build a world-class tourism industry.”
Nagasaki prefecture and Sasebo city, which closed registration for participation in the city’s RFC on Friday, told IAG via a spokesman, “We are not in a position to comment on the initiatives of other regions. Nagasaki prefecture’s stance is to proceed with putting all of our efforts into an IR bid that has the appeal to draw many tourists from both overseas and within Japan.”
Companies known to have put their names forward in Nagasaki’s RFC registration include Oshidori, Casinos Austria and Current.
With a maximum of only three candidate locations to be selected, at this time only Osaka, Yokohama, Wakayama and Nagasaki have officially announced their intention to bid.
Tokyo, Chiba and Nagoya are still in the consideration stage. Now that Hokkaido has decided to forego a bid, there is a possibility it will give momentum to anti-IR groups in many of these locations.