Japan local governments gather at the starting line

The year 2017 saw a distinct acceleration in the race to obtain licenses to build and operate Japan’s first IRs. While everyone agrees that the potential scope of the market is vast, without the precise locations and the terms of regulation yet being clarified, estimations of the ultimate size of this market remain little more than guesswork. What did become much clearer in 2017 was which local governments and operators were poised to make serious bids in the first round, and which were either backing out or holding off for the time being. The forward schedule was also coming into focus, provided that the IR Implementation Bill is indeed enacted in 2018, as now seems quite likely. Presently, there are only four Japanese local governments that are signaling a serious commitment to bidding for an IR: Tomakomai, Sasebo, Osaka, and Wakayama. Leading Local Government Candidates Tomakomai (Hokkaido Prefecture) took the lead among all...

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