The electoral victories of Hirofumi Yoshimura, Ichiro Matsui, and their Osaka Restoration Association last Sunday were impressive, but not entirely complete. They will, however, hold a strong hand going forward on the IR development issue.
Aside from Yoshimura becoming governor and Matsui becoming mayor, their party also had a crushing victory in the 88-seat prefectural assembly. Their 40 seats became 51 seats, meaning that they now hold a solid majority in the chamber all on their own.
Needless to say, there are now no concerns at all about the Osaka Prefectural Assembly becoming a drag on Yumeshima IR plans, or fail to endorse the prefecture’s bid.
The place where the Osaka Restoration Association fell short of a complete victory was in the Osaka City Council. While they did gain five seats in the 83-seat chamber, their 40 seats still don’t provide them with their own majority, and so at least one other party or some independents will be needed to pass ordinances, etc.
Still, under that IR Implementation Act, formal approval by city councils are not needed to endorse an IR development. Also, some leaders of the Komeito party seem to have acknowledged that the Osaka Restoration Association’s clear victory was the will of people, and they may return to a more cooperative stance on some issues.
Moreover, the Osaka business community is also broadly in support of Yumeshima development, and they will have considerable influence over, for example, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party. The biggest resistance they will offer will likely be on the Osaka administrative unification plan, not on the IR development.
The bottom line is that so long as Yoshimura and Matsui serve out their full terms, for the next four years Osaka will have a strongly pro-IR government stepping hard on the gas pedal to win an IR license and begin building the Yumeshima facilities.
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