Japanese cities firm up their integrated resort proposals

By Mia Chapman Updated
Japanese cities firm up their integrated resort proposals

Progress is being made in Japan’s integrated resort market, with Osaka and Nagasaki clearing the air for upcoming meetings in January.

Nagasaki continues to be the most vocal about its integrated resort progress, it has provided several updates recently and will have more information before the end of the year.

Hotel Sacher, a luxury hotel brand out of Austria will be involved in its IR, alongside Casinos Austria International.

A Japanese media company will be involved as well, with Kadokawa Corp’s DWANGO developing a multi purpose theatre tentatively dubbed “Japan House.”

Nagasaki expects Casinos Austria to have all the pieces in the place from a planning perspective by the end of 2021.

The prefecture wants to know who will be involved and to what degree.

The operator will also need to show how it intends on financing the integrated resort development.

It has until the end of January to provide that information.

After holding a few public hearings on its integrated resort plans, Nagasaki is taking another step forward.

It is now accepting written comments about its District Development Plan.

Parts of the plan recently went through a redraw in an effort to better showcase the project.

The public can provide feedback until January 17.

After that, the prefecture will review all input and starting in February, hold additional public hearings to give more updates.

Undoubtedly, much of the conversation will focus on the project’s financing and the benefits the integrated resort will bring to the prefecture.

Osaka takes big steps forward

Compared to Nagasaki, Osaka has been relatively quiet about its integrated resort plans over the past couple of months.

It has only let small amounts of information drip out, however that has changed, with a much clearer picture of what’s coming now established.

At least an additional 20 companies will be involved in the IR. They include Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Nippon Express and West Japan Railway Co to name a few.

The resort will be constructed on Osaka Bay’s artificial Yumeshima Island.

The city of Osaka will have to pay a total of 79 billion yen (US$692 million) for soil-improvement actions, which include site decontamination and measures to prevent soil liquefaction.

Initial plans were to open the resort prior to the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a serious dent in that time frame.

Even though 2029 is the new target, the plan could be delayed by another one to three years.

It all depends on how the pandemic unfolds and the progress made in improving the island’s land.

Osaka casino site found to have safety concerns

Yumeshima Island was found to have arsenic, fluorine and other elements underground at levels exceeding Japan’s safety limits.

The soil was also found to be liquefiable, which raises other problems.

Osaka’s city government will allocate about US$691 million to a special account for safety countermeasures.

The total initial investment for the entire casino resort project is 1.08 trillion yen or US$9.44 billion.

Of that, primary operators MGM Resorts International and Orix will finance US$4.63 billion.

Each will be responsible for around 40 per cent of the project, with the remaining 20 per cent covered by the new partners.

Like Nagasaki, Osaka will hold public hearings on its plans in February.

Final plans have to be submitted to the Japanese government by no later than 28 April 2022.

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