Yokohama city Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has expressed her opposition to holding a referendum on the development of an IR, despite a local citizens’ group recently acquiring more than triple the required number of signatures to do so.
Her comments come after the city announced a draft ordinance for a referendum, which will be submitted to the city council on 7 January.
While Hayashi has previously stated she would respect the interest of residents in regards to a referendum, she also stressed that following through based on such an ordinance was not legally binding and would be expensive to run.
“There have been various procedures so it is difficult to see significance in also holding a referendum,” she said. “A referendum means shelving the discussions that have occurred to date. Based on the discussions of the council, it is important to proceed steadily with the legal procedures.”
An extraordinary session of the city council will open on 7 January and a representative of the Yokohama Citizen’s Group to Decide on a Casino, which has requested the referendum, will make a statement after which a vote will be held.