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EXCLUSIVE: 2 groups call on Yokohama to drop casino plan

  • June 27, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 8:12 p.m.
  • English Press

Yokohama, June 27 (Jiji Press) — Two port-related groups in Yokohama requested the city south of Tokyo in writing on Thursday to drop its plan to host an integrated resort, or IR, including a casino, Jiji Press learned.

A response by the city, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, to the request will likely be closely watched by other Japanese municipalities that are hoping to attract IRs in anticipation of resulting economic effects.

If the city is picked to host an IR, the facility would likely be constructed at Yamashita Pier, part of Yokohama Port.

“We can never accept the construction of an IR including a casino at Yamashita Pier,” the groups said in the written request, claiming that such a plan has not won understanding from Yokohama citizens.

Redevelopment of the pier area should be “promoted under a healthy vision that many citizens can accept,” they said, suggesting that an international exhibition center, for example, would be a desirable facility to be built in the area.

The groups said that an international exhibition center could annually attract 20 million visitors and generate 2 trillion yen in economic effects, greater than 1.7 trillion yen in such benefits claimed by a casino operator.

A Yokohama city government official said, “We received the request and comment on the matter on Friday or later.”

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