Hokkaido revives plans for an IR

By Iqbal Johal

Hokkaido has revived plans for an Integrated Resort (IR) after land was identified for the property to be built upon in the Japanese region.

Around 100 hectares in Tomakomai City have been earmarked as a potential area for the property, based in the Uenae area near Chitose Airport, according to Inside Asian Gaming.

Reports suggest a "certain understanding" has been received from the Hokkaido prefecture in reference to the environmental assessment, which had been an aspect previously holding the IR bid back.

Last November, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki said the prefecture was withdrawing its bid to become the home of Japan’s IR but didn’t rule out a future revival.

Discussions with the Hokkaido prefecture are set to be reported on 10 December, at the General Development Special Committee of the regular city council meeting.

A city official said: "The prefecture agreed with us about the designated site, just in case there were to be an IR bid and we got approval. We have re-designated the Uenae area as a candidate site and have made progress toward a bid.

"Once development begins, the city would bear those expenses and after that it would be the responsibility of the Hokkaido prefecture and the operator."

Estimates suggest maintenance of the IR would cost around JPY7.8bn ($74.8m) for water and sewage, as well as JPY10bn for surrounding roads.

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed plans to press ahead with an IR in Japan, with the certification application period pushed back, from between January and July 2021 to between October 2021 and April 2022.


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