Japan’s Wakayama prefecture has published the final version of its District Development Plan regarding an integrated resort (IR). The Wakayama City Council is scheduled to vote on the document on Wednesday (March 30).
The announcement on the final version of the IR District Development Plan was made on Friday, together with the results of a public consultation process on a draft version of the plan.
Public hearings are required in Japan by the legislation covering IRs. Such hearings must be conducted before the prefecture submits its IR plan to the Japanese national government.
The proposal for a casino in Wakayama must also be voted in a plenary meeting of the Wakayama prefectural assembly, before being submitted to the national authorities.
April 28 is the closing date for local governments to submit pitches to the national government for the right to host a casino resort. Up to three will be allowed nationally, under the existing liberalisation programme. Currently, Nagasaki and Osaka are also likely to submit a respective application – under the form of a so-called IR District Development Plan – for a casino resort.
The final version of Wakayama’s plan is mostly based on the draft disclosed by the prefecture on February 9.
According to Wakayama’s IR District Development Plan, its intended private-sector partner, Clairvest Neem Ventures KK, is responsible for raising the JPY470-billion (US$3.82-billion) cost of the scheme.
Some members of the local prefectural assembly have previously expressed scepticism about the ability of Clairvest Neem to raise the necessary funds.
The national government requires IR District Development Plans to include documentation as evidence of ability to raise funds for such schemes. Such paperwork should be in the form of what is referred to as “commitment letters”, regarded by the Japanese authorities as legally binding in relation to certain conditions.
The Wakayama prefectural government has decided to interpret letters of intent as sufficient evidence for the viability of Wakayama’s IR District Development Plan, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
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