Population (Prefectural): 2.3 million
GDP (Prefectural): 9.4 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Undetermined
Main IR Assets: This location is in the immediate proximity of Sendai Airport, a major regional facility.
Key Proponent: Iwanuma City Council
Family Name: Murai
Given Name: Yoshihiro
Role: Governor of Miyagi Prefecture
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: Murai was a military officer in the Self-Defense Forces before joining the ruling party and winning election to the Miyagi Prefectural Assembly in 1995. A decade later he successfully ran for the post of governor, and has won reelection since then.
Family Name: Kikuchi
Given Name: Hiroo
Role: Mayor of Iwanuma City
IR Stance: Opponent
Profile: Kikuchi spent his entire career in the Iwanuma city government, eventually rising as high as deputy mayor. In 2014 he became mayor.
Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai stated at his regular press conference on Monday that he has yet to draw any conclusions about whether or not to move forward with an IR bid from his prefecture.
The Miyagi Prefectural Government has made a concrete step to enter the IR race by launching a public tender for an advisory firm to assist it in evaluating the possibility of an IR licensing bid.
Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai has reversed course and now appears willing to consider an IR bid by his prefecture in the Tohoku region, a possibility that he had once dismissed last June as impractical.
The final nail in the coffin for a potential IR bid at Iwanuma city appears to have been delivered with Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai making explicit his negative view towards the notion.
Since the Iwanuma City Council passed a resolution last June to launch a feasibility study for an IR bid, little progress has been made. With mayoral elections approaching in about two weeks, there is no candidate yet to represent the pro-IR position.