Population (Prefectural): 6.2 million
GDP (Prefectural): 20 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Makuhari
Main IR Assets: Makuhari already hosts one of the largest convention centers in the nation. It is located in the Kanto region, home to more than 36 million people.
Key Proponent: Association to Consider MICE and IR in the Makuhari New City Center (private group)
Family Name: Morita
Given Name: Kensaku
Role: Governor of Chiba Prefecture
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: With an early career as an actor and singer, Morita eventually moved into politics, elected three times as a national lawmaker. In 2009, on his second attempt, he was elected governor of Chiba Prefecture.
Family Name: Kumagai
Given Name: Toshihito
Role: Mayor of Chiba City
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: After briefly working in NTT Communications, Kumagai became a Chiba City Councilman for the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. His election as mayor in 2009 at age 31 made him the youngest-ever leader of a major Japanese city.
Family Name: Kanetsuna
Given Name: Kazuo
Organization: MICE IR Chiba
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: In 1964, Kanetsuna founded the construction and development company that would later be named Shinnihon Corporation. He spent his entire career in the business, based in Chiba city. In August 2019, he also became president of MICE IR Chiba.
A new company has been created called “MICE IR Chiba” with the support of ten local companies, aiming to form the basis of a consortium for IR development in the Makuhari district of Chiba.
A total of nineteen companies responded to Chiba city’s RFI on the possibility of launching an IR bid at the Makuhari location.
Chiba City has launched an RFI process with an eye to a possible IR bid next to the current Makuhari Messe convention center.
Mayor Toshihito Kumagai continues to signal that he is taking a passive stance on making an IR bid near Makuhari Messe on behalf of an interested consortium of local businesses.
The Chiba city government revealed that it received on May 20 a concrete proposal to build an IR near Makuhari Messe from an unnamed consortium of local city businesses.
A poll by the Chibagin Research Institute has found that local residents in Mihama Ward are decisively opposed to the idea of an IR development in the Makuhari district, with 56% against the concept and only 21% in favor.
The local business group “Chiba’s Future” is stepping up its campaign to convince the municipal authorities to embrace their plan to build an IR off the coast of the Makuhari district. They will soon submit their revised plans to the Chiba City Council and the Chiba Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun.
Chiba is a third municipality in the Japanese capital region still actively mulling the possibility of an IR bid. This was revealed by Chiba’s response to the recent central government survey of all 47 prefectures and 20 designated cities, according to a report in the Asahi Shinbun.
In his June 7 regular press conference, Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita explained in response to a reporter’s question that his position on an IR bid from within the prefecture was a “blank slate”—a passive stance rather than an active one.