Japan Integrated Resort Creation Plan Faces Challenges

Published on
Japan Integrated Resort Creation Plan Faces Challenges
Photo: Coisas do Japão

With the resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the fate of integrated resorts in Japan has become unknown. The resignation is unlikely to have much impact on the development of establishments, as it is part of Japan’s national policy.

The expected replacement for Abe is Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who supports the continuity of the project. But future conversations about integrated resorts are likely to be interrupted for now.

Apparently, there will only be three such resorts in the country. One of the planned developments would be located in Osaka, but the city council recently approved a proposal to divide the city into four districts.

The referendum is scheduled for the end of this year and, if approved, special wards should be established by 2025. A resort should also open its doors in the same year, after Expo 2025 Osaka / Kansai, but it is currently unclear how the plans are dividing the city into districts would affect the development of the project.

Nagasaki is another prefecture with a proposal for integrated resorts. Despite the continued interest of potential developers, the local government has postponed the RFP process indefinitely.

The decision was influenced by developments in the pandemic of the new coronavirus in progress and travel restrictions. There are currently three operators looking to build a resort in Nagasaki: Oshidori International Holdings, Casinos Austria and Current Corp.

Yokohama is also struggling, with groups of citizens wanting to end the project and demanding the resignation of Mayor Fumiko Hayashi. The group’s goal is to collect 490 thousand signatures between October and December this year.

Japan’s Prime Minister Resignation

On August 28, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned from office a year before the end of his term. Altogether, he remained in office for seven years and eight months, the longest stay of a prime minister in Japanese history.

And the end of the second cycle was due to the same factor as the first time: health issue.

In addition, his management during the pandemic suffered severe criticism for taking too long to take more severe isolation measures. “Japan needs government officials who can dedicate themselves fully in this moment,” he said.