The Miyagi Prefectural Government has made a concrete step to enter the IR race by launching a public tender for an advisory firm to assist it in evaluating the possibility of an IR licensing bid.
Bidders must inform the prefectural government by June 5, and then the firm which wins the contract will be announced near the end of June. They will have until March 10, 2020, to compile their final report. The payment for these services is set at JPY4,780,000 (about $43,500).
Miyagi Prefecture has yet to identify a specific candidate location where it is considering the construction of an IR, but it would be somewhere in the vicinity of Sendai Airport.
Notions of making an IR bid from Miyagi Prefecture were first launched in June 2017 by the Iwanuma City Council, which argued that an IR could help drive the local economy to recover from the devastation of the March 2011 tsunami. That initiative, however, appeared to have died last summer when both Iwanuma Mayor Hiroo Kikuchi and Governor Yoshihiro Murai took negative stances on the idea.
This February, Governor Murai revived the possibility of an IR bid, and Iwanuma still appears to be a possible candidate municipality.