Yokohama city to establish IR operator selection committee

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Yokohama city, which is aiming for an IR bid, issued a statement last week revealing it will establish a selection committee based on city ordinances for selecting a private operator responsible for the IR project.

An ordinance bill for the committee’s establishment will be submitted to a regular assembly of the city, aiming to be passed immediately by vote so the committee can be launched. Discussions of the committee will, in principle, not be made public.

The government’s IR Basic Policy draft states, “It is necessary to establish appropriate selection systems, such as a third party committee, to ensure fair scrutiny.”

The city intends to establish a committee to strictly implement this policy. There will be no more than seven committee members and they will be experts in tourism and MICE, regional economy, gambling dependence, urban planning and disaster prevention. Considering that some members of the current parliament have been arrested and implicated in a corruption case related to IR development, rules on contact between committee members and operators will be established and an emphasis will be placed on transparency and fairness.

The future workflow will see the selection committee examining the business plans proposed by IR operator candidates as part of the city’s public offering. It is expected that an operator will be selected and reported to Mayor Hayashi in the latter half of 2020. Upon receiving the request, Mayor Hayashi will confirm the IR operator, and the city and operator will jointly draft an area improvement plan to apply for approval from the city council by July 2021 through a resolution of the council.

The application period for candidate cities to the national government is scheduled for 4 January to 31 July 2021.