Acting leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party Renho Saito, commonly known simply as Renho, has given a speech calling for opposition to Yokohama’s IR bid.
Speaking on a Yokohama street, the former TV journalist said, “Are casinos really a pillar for growth? They make money from people gambling and losing.
“It is an embarrassment that this is an element of the national government’s economic strategy.
“One vote from a resident can stop the casino. Politicians are not the ones with the authority to decide, we all make that decision.”
Renho also called for participation in the petition for a referendum that would ask whether a bid for Yokohama city should go ahead.
In regards to a referendum petition campaign currently being held by resident opposition groups, Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi stated on 16 October, “If the city council submits and passes a draft ordinance for referendum, I want to respect the results.”
Another problem has also appeared for Yokohama. On 9 October, the Japan Tourism Agency revealed it would postpone the IR application period of local governments for nine months from the originally scheduled January to July 2021, with the application period to now start from 1 October 2021.
Hayashi’s term ends on 29 August 2021, before the start of the application period, creating a very different situation from the original plan.
Considering that a mayoral election has now been added to the mix, we can expect the battle over a Yokohama IR bid to go into overdrive.