The Fukui Association of Corporate Executives unveiled on Friday its proposal to build an IR in Echizen city, Fukui Prefecture, which is a region of Japan that had previously not been considered for such a development.
A shinkansen bullet train line along the Sea of Japan coastline is currently under construction, and the notion is that an IR might be built directly adjoining the station, tentatively named “Nanetsu Station,” that will serve Echizen city.
A delegation from the business group visited city hall to deliver their proposal. Without committing himself, Echizen Mayor Toshiyuki Nara welcomed the initiative, commenting, “This proposal exceeds what our city can accomplish on its own, so I look forward to tying up with all of Fukui Prefecture and indeed all of the Hokuriku region.”
The completion of the new bullet train line (expected in the spring of 2023) will facilitate access to this isolated region of Japan’s main island of Honshu, but there is a sense of crisis that the local area’s well-known paper and lacquerware industries will not be a sufficient draw for inbound tourists.
Masahiro Hayashi, one of the leaders of the Fukui Association of Corporate Executives as well as president of Fukui Bank, observed, “Although we have examined various plans, from the point of view of economic efficacy an IR initiative is the best.”
The available site next to the station is about one hundred hectares in size. The concept image above was also released to the local media.
It is thought that option tours might utilize the Echizen IR as a base, leading out to other attractions in the region such as Kanazawa and Gifu, and even to Kyoto.
The business group admitted that they were joining the IR hunt a little bit late in the game compared to other local municipalities, but with the national legislation not yet in place and active measures, they feel that they might catch up.
Aside from the IR plan, the secondary plan of the Fukui Association of Corporate Executives is to create a university next to the station.
Echizen city is a rural part of Japan with only about 80,000 people within the city limits. It is not a particularly well known city today, but in premodern times going back as far as the 6th or 7th centuries, Echizen played a significant role in early Japanese history.
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