Prefectures in Japan prepare for further IR developments

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Prefectures in Japan prepare for further IR developments

Osaka is steadily moving forward with its integrated resort (IR) plans, but the city is also aiming for some restructuring. An ordinance will be presented to the city’s council which most notably focuses on unifying the Osaka area. 

The unification plan will eliminate the dual administration that governs Osaka city and the nearby region. The implementation date for the plan is set for 1 April. The unification is another version of the Metropolis Plan, according to which the city was supposed to be divided into four special areas. However, the spring deadline might be short notice for the proposed implementation. 

According to reports, the unified administration would continue working on the IR project. Currently, the only bidders for the Osaka IR are MGM Resorts and Orix, a local firm. The planned location for the IR is Yumeshima Island. 

Japan’s IR plans in Wakayama prefecture are moving as well. The prefecture confirmed it has two potential operators bidding for the IR; Suncity Group Holdings and Clairvest Neem Ventures. Wakayama administration will make the selection in March. The prefecture plans to build the IR in Wakayama Marina City by 2026. 

However, not all IRs are progressing smoothly. In Yokohama, one of the contenders for the IR spot, a mayoral candidate Masataka Ota, stated he will shut down the IR plans if he wins: “I have been consistent in my message that casinos cause problems and are not a good thing. I do not believe there is any other way to save Yokohama but to become mayor myself.” 

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