On 20 February, Yokohama city, in response to the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, announced that it will postpone resident briefings on its planned IR bid.
Briefings have already been completed for 12 of Yokohama’s 18 wards, however the dates and times for the remaining six wards will be set according to the status of the infection.
At the meeting for cautionary measures regarding infection held on the 20th, the decision was made to reduce the scale of, postpone and cancel events expected to host a large number of people in confined spaces. This led to the decision to postpone IR-related briefings for residents, as reported by the Kanagawa Shimbun.
At the most recent public briefing, held on 14 February, there were more applications than seats and the room was packed, demonstrating the great interest among residents. A Q&A session after the briefing answered questions such as, “Can [the casino] be restricted to foreigners?” and “Will there be a local referendum?” All of the questions received on that day will be answered on the city’s website.
Further, in a standing committee of the Yokohama city council it was decided that public comments would be sought on the “Yokohama IR Direction” draft between 6 March and 6 April, but Mayor Fumiko Hayashi explained at the regular meeting on 19 February, “If there is a lot of opposition [to an IR bid], it does not mean that the project will be stopped.”