Osaka’s prefectural assembly has voted against holding a referendum regarding its pending IR bid.
The vote was held after a citizen’s group revealed in May that it had gathered more than the number of signatures required to call for a referendum challenging Osaka’s IR bid, which it had submitted to the government. According to the group, an examination by the election committee had confirmed a final total of 192,773 signatures, well above the 146,000 required to call a referendum.
The petition was submitted to Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura on 21 July, directly demanding a referendum be arranged.
However, the proposal was rejected by majority vote of the Osaka Ishin (Initiatives from Osaka) Party, the Komeito (Clean Government Party) and the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), at the prefectural assembly.
Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura had stated upon submitted the group’s proposal to the prefectural assembly that, “The development plan was decided after sufficient discussion among the prefectural assembly and is it difficult to find any meaning in holding a referendum.”
The planned developer and operator of Osaka’s IR is a special purpose company called Osaka IR, led by US casino giant MGM Resorts International and local partner ORIX Corp. The area development plan stipulates the Osaka IR will open on the reclaimed Yumeshima in 2029. Annual visitors are estimated at 20 million with annual sales of JPY 520 billion (US$3.8 billion) and an annual economic ripple effects of JPY 1.14 trillion (US$8.4 billion).