Hiroyuki Ikeda, representative director of the Kansai Association of Corporate Executives, held a press conference in Osaka on Tuesday at which he expressed his belief that an integrated resort (IR) full opening timed before the opening of the 2025 Osaka/Kansai Expo would be most beneficial for the city aiming for an IR bid.
As reported by the Sankei Shimbun, Ikeda stated, “Infrastructure development could be done if all of Japan was motivated,” further stressing the idea that it needs to be ready before the expo.
With regard to the planned Osaka IR to be built next to the Expo venue, the city and prefecture were initially planning to open the IR facility before the expo to enjoy the full economic effects of the venture. However, delays in legislation and a tight construction schedule have led them to announce they are abandoning their aim of opening before the expo event.
Since then, many opinions have been that a partial opening is inevitable.
Ikeda emphasized the significance of a convention hall, hotel, shopping mall and other facilities that would be provided by an IR and the resultant economic synergistic effect. He stated, “An IR is essential for the development of Kansai,” and argued that an early opening was essential.
The concern is that if the full completion of an IR is delayed, the construction work will negatively impact the expo. The city and prefecture intend to announce an exact schedule including formal operator recruitment this month.