The Yokohama city council has rejected a draft ordinance for a referendum on an IR bid. The ordinance was shot down by opposition from the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito and the Group of Independents by way of a vote, which was prompted by a petition from a local residents’ group that collected 193,000 signatures late last year.
Excluding the chairperson, 51 voted against the ordinance and 34 voted in favor, resulting in it being rejected. As a result, a referendum on Yokohama’s IR plans will not go ahead.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) representative Masaru Kurokawa, who opposed the referendum, stated, “We should calmly discuss the contents of the IR project. If a referendum is held without preparing proper materials for the discussion, it could shake the foundation of parliamentary democracy.”
On the other hand, Kotoku Mochizuki of the Constitutional Democratic Party, who wanted to see referendum held, said, “As long as the citizens are seeking an opportunity to express their opinions in the form of a referendum, we should ensure it.”
Following the rejection of the draft ordinance by the council, Mayor Fumiko Hayashi commented, “I believe there is a concern about security and additional problems, which has prompted support for a referendum. I hope to explain in a clear manner going forward.”
Meanwhile, the residents group that submitted the petition held a press conference stating, “It’s a shame. We will continue to work on this issue.”