Population (Prefectural): 5.3 million
GDP (Prefectural): 19 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Rusutsu
Main IR Assets: Kamori Kanko owns Rusutsu village’s ski resort, golf courses, and theme park, simplifying ownership structure and decision-making. The local economy is tourism based.
Key Proponent: Kamori Kanko
Family Name: Baya
Given Name: Tsunehachi
Role: Mayor of Rusutsu Village
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: After a career spent mainly in local government, Baya was first elected mayor of Rusutsu village in 2013. He was reelected in 2017.
Family Name: Kamori
Given Name: Hisatake
Organization: Kamori Kanko
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Hisatake Kamori took over Kamori Kanko as president in June 2018 after the 26-year tenure of his father, Kimihito Kamori. He is also the grandson of Katsuo Kamori, who founded the Hokkaido-based resort and leisure company in 1981. Hisatake Kamori has some education in the United States and spent more than eight years as managing director of the company's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Australia.
Kamori Kanko President Hisatake Kamori has stepped up his public campaign to gain an IR license at Rusutsu village, claiming that it could become the “first mover” in the industry as it is prepared to quickly open its doors.
The inaugural Hokkaido IR Showcase came to a close last Thursday, as seven IR operators and numerous other Japanese companies and associations exhibited at the first public IR event to be held in the prefecture.
For the first time since a press release was issued a year ago, Kamori Kanko has openly confirmed to AGB Nippon that the reported investment agreement with a consortium led by the Shenzhen-based online sports lottery service provider 500.com, Sequoia Capital China, Vision Knight Capital, and SIG Asia Investments, was in fact never finalized.
Hokkaido’s leading tourism and hospitality company, Kamori Kanko, has reasserted its claim that its ski resort at Rusutsu village should become the basis for the prefecture’s hoped-for IR bid, attempting to shoulder aside the Tomakomai candidacy favored by most international IR operators and the experts advising the Hokkaido Prefectural Government.
The two-day Hokkaido IR Showcase is set to open tomorrow—Wednesday, January 9—with seven overseas IR operators offering sponsorship to the event. The seven are Hard Rock, Mohegan, SJM, Caesars, Melco, Rush Street, and Clairvest.
As widely anticipated, the Hokkaido Prefectural Government has indicated that Tomakomai would be the “priority candidate” for any IR bid emerging from the prefecture, dimming the rival hopes of Kushiro city and Rusutsu village.
The Experts Committee established by Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi held its third meeting on Wednesday and declared that among the three municipalities vying for prefectural government’s support, Tomakomai clearly held the advantage.
Organizers have announced that the “First Hokkaido IR Showcase” will be held in Sapporo city on November 30 and December 1 of this year, including participation from all three mayors of the municipalities who are currently angling for the support of the prefectural government in making IR bids.
The Experts Committee established by Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi held its second meeting on August 30, this time hearing presentations from the three municipalities—Tomakomai, Rusutsu, and Kushiro—which are nominally in the race for prefectural government’s support.
The Experts Committee established by Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi to help give a IR bid political momentum vis-a-vis a skeptical prefectural assembly, held its first meeting on July 31. It declared that the candidate site would be settled by the end of the year.
In a move apparently meant to buy time and give her political cover, Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi indicated within the Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly on Wednesday that she would be setting up an experts’ committee later in this month to consider the advisability of an IR bid.
Although widely considered one of the most likely prefectures to win an IR bid, a survey conducted by the Hokkaido Shinbun reveals that the Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly might, in fact, block the establishment of an IR within its jurisdiction, potentially bringing to naught the bids of Tomakomai city and Rusutsu village.