Members of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that sit in the Hokkaido prefectural assembly will launch a working group to study the feasibility of the country’s northernmost prefecture applying to host an integrated resort (IR) with casino, reported on Wednesday the Hokkaido Shimbun.
“IR experts from an accounting agency” have been invited to attend a December 15 meeting of the assembly, said the local media outlet.
The governing LDP has 54 seats in Hokkaido’s 100-seat prefectural assembly, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
Koichi Hagiuda, described as chairperson of the policy research council of the “LDP headquarter”, is said to support the idea of a Hokkaido tilt at an IR, as reportedly are LDP representatives for Hokkaido sitting in Japan’s parliament, Hokkaido Shimbun said, citing sources it did not identify, but who were reported to be part of the discussion process.
Kenji Koganezawa, head of the Hokkaido Tourism Organization’s head, was reported saying in October that the agency would “look into the possibility” of the island having what was termed a “green IR”.
In November 2019, Hokkaido governor Naomichi Suzuki passed up the chance of making a pitch to the country’s government to host a casino resort as part of Japan’s liberalisation process for such business.
To date, only the metropolis of Osaka has received national-government approval for a casino resort scheme in that nation. In late September, the Osaka prefectural government signed an implementation agreement for it, with private-sector partners, led by U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp.
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