An exit poll conducted by local news outlet the Mainichi Shimbun during Osaka’s double election on the weekend has found that a majority of those polled support development of an integrated resort on Osaka’s Yumeshima island.
According to the Mainichi Shimbun, the poll targeted 6,190 locals who had completed voting at 145 polling stations, with 53% stating that they supported an IR and 45% opposing it.
Approval by the ruling Osaka Ishin no Kai party’s push to develop an IR was seen as one of the key issues facing Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura’s efforts to be re-elected but he ultimately won voter approval to serve a second term. Only 33% of those who voted for Yoshimura oppose an IR, the poll revealed.
In the mayoral election, newcomer Hideyuki Yosokawa – also endorsed by Osaka Ishin no Kai – secured his first victory. Yoshimura received approximately 2.44 million votes, the most votes in the history of this election, and won by a large margin of around 2 million votes over the next best candidate.
In addition, the Osaka Ishin no Kai won 55 seats in the Osaka City Council election to retain a majority, with the Liberal Democratic Party winning seven seats, Komeito 14 seats, the Communist Party one seat, the Constitutional Democratic Party winning one seat and an independent candidate one seat. In the Osaka City Council member election, the Osaka Ishin no Kai won 46 seats, Komeito 18 seats, Liberal Democratic Party 11 seats, Communist Party two seats and independents four seats.
Yoshimura had expressed his intention to resign as representative if a majority could not be achieved.
At a press conference following confirmation of the election results, Yoshimura said, “I believe that we have received a certain amount of public support to promote the IR attraction. I want to work hard for the next four years with the strong desire to make Osaka grow.
Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City submitted their application for an IR license to the central government in April 2022, alongside a consortium led by US casino giant MGM Resorts and its local partner Orix. If approved, the hope is that an Osaka IR would attract 20 million visitors annually and generate annual revenue of around JPY 520 billion (US$3.9 billion).