Mayor Kenji Kitahashi of Kitakyushu said at a press conference on Thursday that he would hold a city council session in January after summarizing the city’s basic position on an IR bid, with the city to finalize its policy by the end of March.
Up to this point, three prospective IR operators, including one from Hong Kong, have submitted business concepts for the candidate sites on the north side of JR Kokura station and in Moji Ward.
The city has established a research team made up of 13 heads of related divisions and a 14-item questionnaire has been sent to operators covering topics such as development plans, incomes and expenditures with returns expected by 10 January.
The validity of proposals will be considered based on the operators’ answers and they will be used as a basis for an IR bid.
“Citizens and industries have differing opinions. Our neutral position on an IR bid hasn’t changed, but we will listen carefully to operators who are excited to make proposals,” Mayor Kitahashi said.
In Kyushu there are four operators taking the lead on IR plans in Sasebo city, Nagasaki Prefecture, including Casinos Austria International. The national government plans to certify a maximum of three locations in October 2021 from joint applicants of local governments and operators.
The schedule is very tight for a joint application with Kitakyushu city, but the mayor plans to proceed by considering the actions of the national government and other local governments.