Population (Prefectural): 7.5 million
GDP (Prefectural): 39.6 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Chubu Airport Island
Main IR Assets: Chubu Centrair International Airport, which hosts the manmade island upon which the IR is envisioned, is the nation’s 8th busiest airport, having served more than 10 million passengers in 2015. It is the gateway to one of Japan’s most important industrial regions.
Key Proponent: Tokoname City Council
Family Name: Omura
Given Name: Hideaki
Role: Governor of Aichi Prefecture
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Starting out as a national bureaucrat in the Agriculture Ministry, Omura shifted to politics in 1996, winning election as a ruling party lawmaker in the House of Representatives. After winning five terms and serving in various capacities, he shifted again in 2011, this time running successfully for the post of governor. He was reelected in 2015.
Family Name: Kataoka
Given Name: Norihiko
Role: Mayor of Tokoname City
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Kataoka rose up through the Tokoname city bureaucracy before retiring his post in 2007 and successfully running as mayor. He has so far been elected three times.
Family Name: Kuroda
Given Name: Tatsuaki
Organization: Nagoya University
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Professor Kuroda was appointed in August 2017 to chair the local experts' committee regarding the possibility of seeking an IR in Tokoname city, Aichi. In March 2018, Kuroda's committee reported back to Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura firmly recommending an IR bid.
On April 21 Tokoname city will not only have its regularly scheduled city council elections, but also its mayoral race more than half a year early, due to the retirement of Mayor Norihiko Kataoka.
The Aichi Prefectural Government has announced that “Aichi Sky Expo,” its new exhibition center on Chubu Centrair International Airport Island in Tokoname city, will open on August 30, and that for the following two days it will host a large-scale eSports tournament.
Hideaki Omura was easily elected to a third term as Governor of Aichi Prefecture on Sunday, trouncing a challenger backed by the Japan Communist Party.
Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki—only these three prefectures are willing to openly admit that they will be making IR bids, according to a survey of all 47 prefectures and 20 designated cities conducted by Kyodo News in the latter part of 2018.
Last Thursday the election period began in the Aichi gubernatorial election, which has implications for both IR proposals in the prefecture. However, there is little reason to believe that incumbent Governor Hideaki Omura will not win in a landslide.
Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura came under criticism this week for suggesting that the Nagoya IR might actually be located in neighboring Kuwana city—which also happens to be in neighboring Mie Prefecture.
Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname city, which is likely moving forward with an IR bid, will open on Friday a major component of its associated entertainment complex located right on Airport Island—the Flight of Dreams.
Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura announced his bid for a third term on Thursday, declaring, “I would like to have responsibility for taking the lead in Japan’s future and furthering the development of Aichi.”
A delegation of local mayors has asked Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura to run for reelection when his second term ends next February, a race that will have implications for the potential IR bids of both Tokoname city and Nagoya city.
A survey by the Aichi Prefectural Government Tourism Bureau found that Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname city—where an IR bid is currently being contemplated—is already the prefecture’s top tourist facility.
A total of 72 companies sent representatives to the pair of RFI briefings held by the Aichi prefectural government last week, which is related to the development of the island hosting the Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname city.
The Aichi prefectural government has launched an RFI process for a “City of International Tourism Focused on MICE.” While the call does not explicitly announce that this is part of an IR bid, it is clearly related to the local government’s deliberations about whether or not to seek a casino element for the Chubu Centrair International Airport development project in Tokoname city.