Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism says it will be difficult for the government to make a final decision on whether bids to develop integrated resorts in Osaka and Nagasaki have been approved before the end of the year.
According to an explanation by the Ministry at a Constitutional Democratic Party meeting on Thursday, it will be “hard” to provide an answer in 2022.
In April of this year, Osaka and Nagasaki submitted to the national government their respective area development plans, which outline the details of their projects, the outlook for income and expenditure and the estimated economic ripple effect.
Osaka, which has selected a consortium led by MGM Resorts and ORIX Corp, is looking to develop a US$9 billion IR on Yumeshima Island while Nagasaki and its partner Casinos Austria International are eying a US$3 billion IR in Sasebo City.
The area development plans are currently being reviewed by a committee made up of experts in areas such as economics and tourism. Based on their appraisal, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will decide whether or not to grant approval to any or all projects.
Both the Osaka and Nagasaki prefectural governments had been expecting a decision to be made by the autumn just passed, after which time they had hoped to start administrative procedures, surveys and preparatory works.
They are also hoping to begin construction in the spring or summer of 2023.
In regards to the approval process, the examination committee’s guidelines state that “in order to ensure the frank exchange of opinions and the neutrality of decision-making in the committee, the examination committee meetings regarding the approval of the area development plan are closed to the public.”
On the other hand, from the viewpoint of ensuring the transparency of the accreditation examination, the results of the accreditation examination by the committee and the evaluation process shall be made public promptly after the approval of the area development plan.