The discussion of building integrated resorts in Japan feels like it took place years ago. While in reality, it was only a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has shelved those conversations for the time being.
Beyond the pandemic, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation due to ill health and was replaced by Yoshihide Saga.
The talk about IRs was never forgotten — just further postponed. In fact, Saga made it clear that the negotiations about IR will continue as soon as possible. On the other hand, local governments do their best to gain support from their respective citizens in order to submit a bit for the integrated resort.
Where do Integrated Resort Proposals Stand?
At the risk of sounding cliched, nothing is certain when it comes to integrated resorts. At the moment, no operators and no locations are selected. Still, the Nagasaki prefecture seems like a great location, and it is often mentioned as one of the possible sites for building one of the three planned integrated resorts. Moreover, Nagasaki seems to be getting support from local leaders, who decided to form the Kyushu IR Promotion Council.
Kyushu is an island in Japan — it’s the third-largest one. There are seven prefectures located on it, and Nagasaki is one of them. Each prefecture has a government, and they are all united in the so-called Kyushu Governors’ Association (KGA). The KGA joined forces with the Kyushu Regional Strategy Council (KRSC) to start a group with one objective — to support Kyushu’s idea of getting an integrated resort.
But that’s not their only aim. Namely, the organization wants to make sure that local businesses and economies would benefit from the IR if it is approved for building on the island.
The Promotion Council to Support Local Businesses
The group’s statement explained that the aim of the organization was to “create business opportunities” and to “promote local procurement by building business networking strategies.” The group will welcome all individuals who represent various economic organizations and local councils and governors from the Kyushu region, and especially from the Nagasaki prefecture.
If Nagasaki is selected for building one of the three integrated resorts, it will give a 76.6-acre site which is in the proximity of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park. That way, the area will become attractive to tourists worldwide, as everyone will have an opportunity to find suitable entertainment.
Currently, the KGA members are governors of the following prefectures: Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Nagasaki Oita, Saga, Miyazaki, and Yamaguchi. On the other hand, the KRSC consists of various business people representing their respective businesses from the region. Both groups expressed their open support for an IR in the area. In fact, the KGA has stated several times that their ideal location for building an IR would be Nagasaki.
The officials of Japan hope to return where they left off when it comes to IRs, before setbacks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, kicked in.
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