Mayoral discomfort for Yokohama


In Japan and one of the candidates running to be elected as the next mayor for Yokohama has reportedly come out against the giant city’s plan to bring an envisioned integrated casino resort to a 116-acre parcel of waterfront land.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Hachiro Okonogi (pictured) is a prominent member of the Liberal Democratic Party and recently resigned as Chairman for the federal government’s National Public Safety Commission in order to enter the Yokohama mayoral race. The source detailed that the 56-year-old has been a member of the Asian nation’s House of Representatives since 1993 and earlier held prominent cabinet posts in the administrations of past Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and successor Yoshihide Suga.

Confirmed critic:

Okonogi reportedly used a Friday press conference to indicate that he would immediately shelve any plans to bring a Las Vegas-style development to Yokohama if his hometown electorate selected him to replace incumbent mayor Fumiko Hayashi. The son of famed local politician Hikosaburo Okonogi purportedly also told attendees that the Honshu city of approximately 3.7 million inhabitants should not be seeking to host one of the nation’s coming trio of gambling-friendly enterprises and instead find alternative ways to fund an array of tourism promotion, economic regeneration and infrastructure projects.

Okonogi reportedly declared…

There have been concerns expressed about addictions, security or using people’s gambling losses on town planning and other matters.”

Second censor:

Voters in Yokohama are reportedly set to go to the ballot box to select their next mayor on August 22 with prominent Constitutional Democratic Party politician Masataka Ota moreover in the running to replace Hayashi. This 75-year-old candidate has been elected to the community’s city council an impressive eleven times and purportedly proclaimed in January that ‘the casino issue will disappear’ if he was to be elected.

Ota reportedly stated…

“I have been consistent in my message that casinos cause problems and are not a good thing. I do not believe there is any other way to save Yokohama but to become mayor myself. To put it plainly, I will not do casinos.”

Filled field:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that the upcoming mayoral race is to furthermore feature 57-year-old Liberal Democratic Party politician Mineyuki Fukuda, who previously represented in the area in the House of Representatives, and the 48-year-old director of a local animal rights group, Akiko Fujimura. The source explained that it is not yet known whether 75-year-old Hayashi will attempt to win a fourth term as mayor for Yokohama after earlier coming out against plans to hold a local referendum on whether to bring an integrated casino resort to the mammoth city.