Osaka’s Yumeshima the focus of IR interest

Osaka remains the only major Japanese city actively pursuing the development of an IR, and the interest in its Yumeshima location brought together more than two hundred businesspeople on Wednesday to learn more about its prospects.

The title of the event, held almost exclusively in the Japanese language, would translate as “Symposium on Yumeshima and the World Expo: Industry, Academia, and Government Co-Creating the Future.” The twin themes were the project to establish an IR on Yumeshima as well as Osaka’s bid to host the 2025 World Expo on the same manmade island, directly adjoining the anticipated IR.

The Osaka government and big business community have previously established their broad vision for the Yumeshima IR, which would become a “Well-Being Resort City.” Essentially, the concept is an IR dedicated to healthy living, with such facilities as a medical center, health spas, exercise and yoga venues, healing programs, and an associated life science industrial cluster. It is conceived to be a location for living long and active lives.

The host of the event was Shinichi Fukushima, president of the Osaka International Convention Center Corporation, and the keynote speaker was Hiroshi Mizohata, the former commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.

In the final section of the event, three major IR operators made their companies’ pitches: Caesars, Melco, and MGM. In the case of Caesars and Melco, the presentations were made in native Japanese by Yusuke Watanabe and Ako Shiraogawa. These two have both been recently appointed head of their respective operators’ Japan offices and were making their debuts in front of a large audience of businesspeople. In the case of MGM, the presentation was made in English by Executive Vice-President of Global Development Ed Bowers.

Asia Gaming Brief took exclusive video footage of the Yumeshima site, where the Osaka IR is expected to be established in the early 2020s, which can be viewed here.