The mayor of Japan’s Chiba city, Toshihito Kumagai, yesterday announced that Chiba will not bid for an IR.
Just over a month after Hokkaido withdrew from the nation’s IR race, Chiba Mayor Kumagai revealed a similar stance on Tuesday, stating, “We have been conducting surveys while considering the trends of the country, but due to circumstances, including last year’s typhoon, we have decided that the current schedule would not allow enough time for coordination with stakeholders, such as the prefecture, and for us to complete those procedures required by law.”
Kumagai added that the application period announced by the national government in November – from 4 January 2021 to 30 July 2021 – was shorter than expected and Chiba did not expect it could prepare in time.
Chiba city has been conducting a request for information (RFI) from private businesses on the feasibility of an IR since July in order to gather the information necessary to determine whether to bid. In October, eight domestic and overseas operators submitted business concept proposals to the city with all eight companies stating the candidate site should be the Makuhari New City area, with an investment of JPY500 billion to JPY700 billion.
Mayor Kumagai commented on the future of Makuhari New City, saying, “We will continue to consider plans to strengthen and renew the city, and how to drive it and its environs forward with the economy of the whole prefecture.
“We believe the city will take a central role in the future, and Chiba Prefecture will work closely with Makuhari New City. I would like to study effective strategies, including those for the future.”
Kumagai did not completely rule out the possibility of an IR bid in the future.