Hokkaido governor emerges as supporter of IR

Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi emerged this week as a strong advocate of hosting an IR, encouraging the central government to grant four or five licenses around the nation.

The governor’s words comes a week after Kushiro Mayor Hiroya Ebina revealed last week that his city was effectively giving up its independent bid to host an IR, instead, they have placed their support behind Tomakomai city to federate for the purpose of ensuring that Hokkaido prefecture would be among the winners when the licenses are granted.

Hokkaido is unique in having multiple IR initiatives within the same prefecture. Aside from Tomakomai and Kushiro, there have been proposals from private interests to build IRs in Kitahiroshima city and Rusutsu village as well.

Meanwhile, Tomakomai Mayor Hirofumi Iwakura announced last week that he would be seeking a fourth term in the upcoming July 1 mayoral elections.

Promotion of the IR bid is a key part of Mayor Iwakura’s campaign, describing it as a much needed measure to re energize local energy and to bring youth back to the region.