Wakayama prefecture has announced that it will prepare a draft area development plan by the end of November and seek a vote at the prefectural assembly regular meeting in February next year as part of its IR bid.
At the regular meeting held last week, Hisatsugu Tajima, the director in charge of IR, fielded a question from Tatsuo Hori (Liberal Democratic Party) of the prefectural assembly, who asked for an explanation of the specifics of the prefecture’s basic agreement with preferred partner, Clairvest Neem Ventures.
Tajima responded, “The basic agreement stipulates the role of the prefecture and the operator, and various other processes until the implementation agreement is concluded (once the area has been approved by the central government).
“Specifically, it relates to joint matters between the prefecture and operator such as preparing the area development plans and certification applications to be conducted by the prefecture and the business, the cost burden of the operator, performance deposits, issues relating to the integrity of the IR operator and its shareholders, and also penalties if the implementation agreement cannot be executed due to reasons caused by the operator.”
When Hori then asked about the schedule moving forward, Tajima replied, “We are currently working hard with Clairvest on the area development plan. According to the IR Development Act, resident opinion must be reflected in the plan.
“In order to meet the April 2022 deadline (for application to the central government), we need to complete the area development plan draft by the end of November. Public comments will then be taken, and with the consent of Wakayama City and the Prefectural Public Safety Commission, we are intending to present the bill to the prefectural assembly for a vote in February next year.”
Asked about the motivation for area certification, Wakayama’s Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka said, “Yokohama and other places are prospering and many think they will continue to prosper even without an IR, however Wakayama does not have many other opportunities for a large scale investment. We must work hard to proceed with the [IR project].”