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Chiba governor a “blank slate” on IR bid

Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita said he has a passive rather than active stance towards an IR bid within the prefecture.

Governor Morita did not entirely dismiss the possibility of supporting an IR bid in the future, but he indicated that he first wanted to see a more comprehensive plan for a convention and entertainment complex that did not rely simply on a casino to draw audiences. It is a matter that would require further study, he told a press conference.

IR projects have been mulled in two locations within Chiba Prefecture, the Makuhari coastline of Chiba city and Narita city.

The Makuhari proposal gained some attention in late May when it was profiled in a widely-read Bloomberg article.

The Chiba City Council passed a resolution in December 2013 which read, in part, “this city is near Japan’s gateway from the air, Narita Airport, and contains Makuhari Messe, which possesses a proven track record of holding various conferences and events… We are convinced that the area’s environment is ready for the development of an integrated resort.”

Neither Governor Morita nor Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai, however, have taken a proactive stance regarding this idea.

In Narita city it is the Narita Chamber of Commerce & Industry that has been championing an IR bid, but with a similarly passive response from local political leaders.

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