West Japan Railway Company (JR West) has included the possibility of an extension of the Osaka Yumesaki Line beyond its current terminus at Sakurajima Station to Yumeshima, the proposed site for a major urban IR, in its Medium-Term Management Plan (2018-2022), published in late April.
Immediately before the Golden Week holidays, on April 27 and 28, the inaugural Kansai IR Showcase was held in central Osaka, hosted by by Tradeshow Organizers, Inc. The top political leaders of Osaka opened the event, and large-scale exhibits were presented by six major international casino operators.
Fitch Ratings has estimated that the first round of IR construction in Japan will create revenues in the US$6 billion range, much smaller than, for example, the Morgan Stanley report of April 11 which foresaw a US$15 billion Japanese IR market developing by 2025.
In a Wednesday press conference, Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui expressed his frustration with other national opposition parties for their boycott of legislative business, making it less likely that the IR Implementation Bill can be passed in the current Diet session.
Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka has walked back his early April comments in which he openly expressed the view that local Japanese might also be welcome in a Marina City casino. The governor made this latest turnabout on Tuesday after a gap opened up publicly on this issue between himself and Wakayama Mayor Masahiro Obana.
Yoshio Tateishi, head of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce & Industry, made clear in a press conference on Tuesday that although his organization will support Osaka in its bid to build an IR at Yumeshima, the ancient capital of Japan itself has absolutely no interest in hosting its own such facility.