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Chiba drops out of Japan IR race

Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai announced on Tuesday that his city would not be moving forward with an IR bid, in spite of the eight specific proposals that his municipality had received for the Makuhari district from private companies and consortiums.

He cited the need to focus on rebuilding from last year’s typhoon damage: “With recovery and reconstruction as our top priority, attracting an IR is very energy intensive.”

As a secondary reason, he cited the short amount of time available for Chiba to rev up its IR bid before the national licensing process.

Asked by reporters if the blockbuster casino bribery scandal was also a factor, he denied its relevance to his decision.

Chiba’s withdrawal leaves Yokohama as the only municipality in the capital region that is openly engaged in an IR bid, though the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is also conducting quiet studies.

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