Osaka prefecture/city announced its proposal for the regional development plan draft related to its Yumeshima IR bid at a second capital promotion headquarters meeting on 21 December 2021.
The proposal includes goals of breaking ground in 2023 and opening the property in the autumn of 2029. The planned total floor area is set at 770,000 square meters with an estimated economic ripple effect in the surrounding Kansai region of JPY 1.58 trillion (US$13.7 billion) during construction and estimated annual sales of JPY 540 billion (US$4.7 billion).
Osaka will be holding public briefings and hearings for residents to participate in over the next two months and once the development plan is approved by both prefectural and municipal councils in February, it will be submitted to the central government by the 28 April deadline.
Even in ancient times, Osaka flourished as a merchant’s town. Gross production in Osaka alone is JPY 40 trillion (US$347.5 billion) while the combined gross production for the Keihanshin Metropolitan area (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe) is JPY 80 trillion (US$695 billion).
Osaka’s plan is to develop a metropolitan IR. The designated location is a 490,000 square meter plot on the north side of Yumeshima, a manmade island in Osaka Bay. If approved for development, the IR operator will be a consortium led by US casino giant MGM Resorts International and its local Japanese partner ORIX.
It has also been revealed that at least 20 corporations are planning to invest in the IR. They include super general contractors such as Obayashi Corporation, Takanawa Corporation and Taisei Corporation plus other major players such as Kansai Electric Power, Osaka Gas, Panasonic, Kintetsu Group Holdings, West Japan Railway Company, NTT West Corporation and JTB, among others.
MGM Resorts Japan has joined the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, regarding which CEO Ed Bowers, commented, “We want to actively build relationships with local companies.”
MGM announced that development costs were expected to reach JPY 1.08 trillion (US$9.4 billion). Of this, JPY 530 billion (US$4.6 billion) will be investment by related corporations while the remaining JPY 550 billion (US$4.8 billion) will be financed. According to The Nikkei, MUFG Bank and SMBC Bank have already agreed to provide financing.
Many prefectural and municipal council members are part of the Osaka Ishin Party (Initiatives from Osaka), led by IR supporter, Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura, and the decision to approve the proposal at the prefecture/city council meeting in February is considered to be a foregone conclusion.