Pro-IR Tomakomai Mayor Iwakura gains new term

Tomakomai Mayor Hirofumi Iwakura, a strong advocate for hosting an IR in his northern Japanese city, won a fourth 4-year term in office after no other candidate registered before the filing deadline.

When Mayor Iwakura was asked by the local media if he took his uncontested victory as a sign of faith in his IR development plans, he answered, “Rather than taking the non-vote as an indication of trust, I just see it as no rival coming out to contest me. As the Tomakomai model for an IR has just been issued recently, I want to work to gain the citizens’ understanding.”

Tomakomai municipal authorities compiled their interim IR report in March, projecting a US$2-3 billion investment by the time the facility’s doors open. They also expect that an IR would pull in 6-11 million visitors per year and would produce total annual sales in the US$1.2-1.5 billion range.

The Hokkaido prefectural government has yet to announce whether or not it will support the Tomakomai IR bid.