Resident groups in Wakayama are conducting a petition campaigning for a referendum on the prefecture’s bid to develop an integrated resort.
According to a report by ABC TV, the resident groups are arguing that IR is a major issue for residents and they have not been given an opportunity to agree or disagree with the proposal.
The signatures of more than 6,200 residents must be collected to ask the mayor for a referendum and an ordinance must be passed by the city council for a referendum to be conducted. According to the groups, they have collected 3,000 signatures to date with a goal of reaching 20,000 by 5 December.
A campaign for a referendum by those opposed to an IR was also held in Yokohama, which elected an IR opponent as governor in August this year.
Residents groups collected approximately 193,000 signatures for a referendum and in response to this the Yokohama city council discussed a draft ordinance proposal in January, but the referendum was never held as the ordinance was rejected by a majority. However, Takeharu Yamanaka, a candidate opposed to IR, was elected in the August mayoral election, effectively ending the city’s IR bid.
Wakayama prefecture selected Clairvest Neem Ventures as its preferred partner for constructing and operating an IR in June and signed a basic agreement in August. US casino giant Caesars Entertainment has since been announced as casino operator.
The prefecture and its preferred candidate are currently working together on an area development plan to apply to the central government by the application deadline of 28 April 2022.