The Japan IR saga continues as the majority of prefectures in the Country of the Rising Sun are doing their best to be the ones chosen as the primary destination for building one of the three planned integrated resorts.
The main reason behind this race is due to the fact that the officials of this country basically legalized casino gambling, which was strictly prohibited before they made this bold step and passed a bill that proposed that three IR be built.
Apart from the areas in Japan racing to win the license, many industry-leading casino operators have a race of their own where they are actively campaigning in certain areas of Japan to show that they are interested in building an IR.
All this fuss is due to the fact that Japan is projected to become one of the biggest casino markets in the world, next to Macau and Las Vegas.
Osaka is Leading the Race
One of the places that are most likely to host one of the IRs is Osaka, whose Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura is actively campaigning in order to attract the attention from the government as well as investor’s interest. One of the recent announcements related to Osaka is that they are considering introducing an F1 race to the city if they manage to get an Integrated Resort, according to a Mainichi report.
Yoshimura discussed these plans at a conference that took place on February 21 and stated that they would like to realize the Osaka F1 Grand Prix. He was even more specific, claiming that the Grand Prix would be hosted on Yumeshima, which is a man-made island nearby that was also planned for one of the IRs. Furthermore, Yoshimura stated that if they attracted investments, they would achieve great things that were impossible at the moment.
The problem with these plans is that Japan already has an F1 race, which is held annually at the Suzuka Circuit located in Mie Prefecture. Therefore, building another one might not be approved by the Japanese government.
However, one could look at Yoshimura’s promises as being one of the ways to promote Osaka as the most suitable place to build an IR. As the ultimate decision date is getting near, the battle rages on, with many officials making huge promises only to suck up to the government to choose their place for building IRs. So far, the most likely places where IRs can be built are Wakayama, Hokkaido, and Tokyo. However, Osaka should not be counted out of the game, as many consider this city a favorite.
It is going to be interesting to see how the whole IR thing will unfold since the government of Japan is actively working on solving things out in order to start building IRs as soon as possible.
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