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Kitakyushu Airport island eyed as IR candidate location

The Kitakyushu City IR Promotion Council is finding that Kitakyushu Airport Island should become the focus of their IR bid, if they are able to gain the needed political support from Mayor Kenji Kitahashi.

In fact, the airport location has many advantages. It is located on a large 160 hectare man-made island with beautiful views in all directions. As an island, security would be easy to maintain and even 24-hour events would not disturb the nearby communities.

Currently, Kitakyushu Airport serves about 1.7 million passengers annually, but there is no particular reason why it couldn’t handle a much larger number. The Shinkansen bullet train could be extended from Kokura Station to provide another high-capacity entry and exit point.

If Kitakyushu does make such a bid, however, it will be a direct challenge to Sasebo city’s multi-year campaign to bring an IR to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, which Nagasaki Prefecture has been trying to transform into an “All Kyushu” political and economic campaign.

In terms of the size of the facility that could be built, ease of access, and the size of the nearby population, Kitakyushu would have more firepower than Nagasaki, so such a rival IR bid would definitely be a threat to Huis Ten Bosch’s prospects.


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