Takeharu Yamanaka, the mayor-elect of Yokohama (pictured), said on Sunday evening the Japanese city would not be bidding to host a casino resort, reported the Kyodo news agency. The outlet quoted him as saying: “We will issue a formal statement soon making it clear that Yokohama will not make a hosting bid” for an integrated resort (IR), as these complexes are known in that nation.
Mr Yamanaka, a former professor at Yokohama City University, won the Yokohama mayoral election on Sunday, with 33.59 percent of the votes, according to GGRAsia’s correspondent in Japan. He ran with the support of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, as well as the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.
Among the other seven candidates were Hachiro Okonogi, a senior figure in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that governs at national level, who ran as an independent; and incumbent Fumiko Hayashi, that was seeking her fourth term in office, and is a supporter of the IR policy.
Yokohama is the capital of Kanagawa prefecture, the second-most populous city in the country after Tokyo. Turnout among Yokohama’s more than 3 million eligible voters was 49.05 percent, up from 37.21 percent in the previous mayoral election in 2017.
The local authorities concluded in June a 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 was expected to take place in the coming months.
Mr Yamanaka, 48, is described as a strong opponent of the IR policy, according to local media reports. He has suggested that the oceanfront property earmarked for a casino complex in Yokohama “would be better used to build hotels, concert halls and other facilities”.
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”We are moving rapidly as we execute on our strategy and the planned divestitures are well-progressed”
President and chief executive of casino equipment provider Scientific Games