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Hokkaido public opposes IR construction by 2-to-1 margin

A poll conducted by the Hokkaido Shinbun has revealed that public opinion in the northernmost prefecture is quite cold to the notion of building an IR—65% say they oppose a Hokkaido IR and only 33 percent support it.

The numbers look even less favorable among those who have clear-cut opinions: 43% say that they definitely oppose an IR while only 6% say that they definitely support the construction of such a facility.

As in most such polls, opposition is stronger among women and older people.

The Tomakomai region, where the municipal government has been actively promoting its plans to local residents, recorded marginally higher rates of acceptance.

Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi is thought to support the notion of building an IR, but she is nearing the end of her gubernatorial term and it is not clear if she will be running for reelection. The Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly is also facing elections next spring, and even now political support for IR construction within the chamber is said to be scant.

In most respects Tomakomai is regarded as one of the strongest IR candidate locations in the nation, but its local political viability remains the main looming threat to any such plans.

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