Casino-seeking Nagasaki prefecture in Japan will have a new governor, after the incumbent, septuagenarian Hodo Nakamura (pictured), was narrowly voted out of office on Sunday.
His replacement, Kengo Oishi, is said to be a supporter of the local policy to get a casino complex, or integrated resort (IR), in Nagasaki, but his three-term predecessor initiated the process.
The governor-elect Mr Oishi, aged 39, a former official of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, won by only 541 votes relative to Mr Nakamura’s support, out a total 525,083 valid votes cast, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
Voter turnout was just under 48 percent, according to local media reports.
The locally-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was split, in terms of backing for those two main candidates.
Members of the prefectural assembly – a body where the LDP holds a majority – have several times expressed concern about the financial capability of Nagasaki’s preferred operating partner for an IR – Casinos Austria International Japan Inc – to deliver such a scheme. It has been described as a JPY350-billion (US$3.04-billion) project.
April 28 is the closing date for local governments to make a submission to the national authorities for the right to host an IR. Currently, Wakayama and Osaka are also likely to submit a respective application. Up to three resorts will be allowed in Japan, under the current framework for liberalisation.
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