Six of the eight candidates confirmed on Sunday for the Yokohama mayoral election on August 22 are opposed to a public policy of having a casino complex or “integrated resort” (IR) based in that Japanese city, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The main pro-IR candidate is the incumbent mayor, Fumiko Hayashi, whose candidacy was confirmed in mid-July. The other pro-IR candidate, Mineyuki Fukuda, is described as a minor contender.
At the last mayoral election, in July 2017, Ms Hayashi got more votes than the other two main candidates combined. The entire turnout that time represented 37.2 percent of the electorate.
Ms Hayashi is the most prominent of the two pro-IR candidates in this year’s contest for leadership of the Japanese metropolis (pictured).
She has affiliations to the national governing grouping, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its partner Komeito. But neither of those parties have officially endorsed her latest mayoral bid, opting instead on a free vote on the matter.
One of the prominent anti-IR contenders in Yokohama’s mayoral race is Hachiro Okonogi, a senior figure in the national LDP-Komeito coalition, who is also not being directly endorsed by the party machine.
Yokohama concluded in June its request-for-proposal (RFP) submission period regarding commercial partners for its tilt at getting a casino complex. Genting Singapore Ltd, operator of Singapore casino venue Resorts World Sentosa, and casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, operating venues in Macau and the Philippines, have been identified as the two contenders in the race. A decision on the winning proposal is to take place in the coming months.
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