An Integrated Resort (IR) Promotion Office will be established in April in Sasebo city, part of Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture, GGRAsia confirmed with the prefectural government. The prefecture has expressed interest in inviting commercial partners for a tilt at hosting an IR project at a designated site at Sasebo’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park.
The term “IR” is used in Japan to denote large-sale tourism facilities with meeting space, hotels, shops and entertainment as well as a casino.
The creation of an IR promotion office in Sasebo city – which will be a unit under the city’s Planning Department – is aimed at enabling the prefecture to carry out IR promotion-related tasks “appropriately and promptly”, according to information relayed to GGRAsia on behalf of the Nagasaki prefectural government. The promotion office is said to have “almost” the same authority as a local-government department, and will work with the Nagasaki prefectural government as well as other related government units to push ahead with a tilt for a local IR scheme.
The IR promotion office move is one of several departmental and personnel changes in Sasebo city’s public administration that are due to take effect from April, reported separately on Friday the Japanese-language news outlet Nagasaki Shimbun.
Nagasaki prefecture has previously flagged that the construction investment in the Sasebo-based IR scheme would in likelihood be in the range of JPY350 billion (US$3.26 billion) to JPY460 billion.
A maximum of three casino resorts will be allowed in Japan in a first phase of liberalisation, and cities or prefectures qualified to have one will need to make a bid to the national government once they have chosen commercial partners for such schemes.
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Managing director of Bay City Ventures Ltd, a Japan-based marketing consultancy.