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Strong opposition to Yamashita Pier IR concept

Chairman Yukio Fujiki of the Yokohama Harbor Transport Association reiterated in an interview with the Mainichi Shinbun his strong opposition to the siting of an IR at Yamashita Pier.

He also suggested that if the city government nevertheless will not be deterred in its desire to host a casino, then they should look to convert a local US military base instead.

After speaking about the social ravages of gambling addiction, Fujiki offered, “If you absolutely want a casino in Yokohama, you can open it within the US military facility ‘Yokohama North Dock’ at Yokohama Mizuho Wharf.”

This is a US Army facility that has been held since the post-World War II US occupation of Japan and is exclusively used by US military ships.

It is not clear that Fujiki was making a serious proposal, or if his intention was simply to suggest a location that would be practically impossible to utilize.

Last week, the leader of the Japan Communist Party caucus within the Yokohama City Council told Asia Gaming Brief that she believed the city government was now searching for an alternative to Yamashita Pier in light of Fujiki’s firm opposition. In her case, she thinks the local authorities are considering a location within Minato Mirai.

In his Mainichi Shinbun interview, Fujiki spoke passionately about the reasons for his opposition: “Gambling becomes a habit. It is said that people even commit suicide around overseas casinos. I think the term ‘gambling addiction’ is itself too pretty a term. It truly should be called a tragedy.”

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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