Tomakomai City

    Website: http://www.city.tomakomai.hokkaido.jp/

    Prefecture: Hokkaido

    Population (Prefectural): 5.3 million

    GDP (Prefectural): 19 trillion yen

    Candidate Site: Uenae

    Main IR Assets: Close proximity to New Chitose Airport, the largest in the region, as well as a port which might host cruise ships. Easy access to all of Japan’s northernmost major island, which is already a popular holiday destination.

    Key Proponent: Mayor Hirofumi Iwakura

    People

    Suzuki, Naomichi

    Family Name: Suzuki Given Name: Naomichi Party: Independent Role: Governor of Hokkaido IR Stance: Unclear Profile: Originally deployed to Hokkaido by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2008, Suzuki went on to serve two terms as mayor of Yubari. At the time of his first election in 2011, he was the youngest city mayor in the nation. In April 2019 he ran for the open position of Hokkaido Governor and was successfully elected.

    Iwakura, Hirofumi

    Family Name: Iwakura Given Name: Hirofumi Party: Independent Role: Mayor of Tomakomai City IR Stance: Advocate Profile: Originally a businessman in the home construction industry, Iwakura flirted with national politics for a number of years before his first election as Tomakomai mayor in 2006, with conservative ruling party support.

    Takahashi, Harumi

    Family Name: Takahashi Given Name: Harumi Party: Independent Role: Former Governor of Hokkaido Prefecture IR Stance: Advocate Profile: Born into a political family, Takahashi started off as a MITI (now METI) bureaucrat before leaving the ministry and successfully running for the post of Hokkaido governor, at the urging of ruling party grandee Nobutaka Machimura. She served four full terms, a total of 16 years, as governor before stepping down in April 2019.

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    Hokkaido Poll Shows Sharp Rise in Opposition to IR Development

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    Unified Local Elections in April Key Hurdle for IR Bids

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    Sapporo Snow Festival

    Hard Rock Sponsors Snow Sculpture for Hokkaido Festival

    Again demonstrating its clear focus on a Hokkaido IR bid, Hard Rock Japan has announced that it has sponsored a snow sculpture for the famous Sapporo Snow Festival to be held next February.

    Takahashi Confirms End of Hokkaido Governorship

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    Hokkaido Selects Tomakomai as “Priority Candidate” for IR Bid

    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.

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    Hard Rock Sponsors Pro Soccer Club in Hokkaido

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    Rush Street Japan Focuses on Tomakomai

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    Moody’s Puts Mohegan on Review for Credit Rating Downgrade

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    Foxwoods Mulls IR Bid for Tomakomai

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    Tomakomai Holds IR Lectures for Local Residents

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    Hokkaido Experts Committee Acknowledges Tomakomai As Leading IR Candidate

    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.

    Six Operators Remain in Tomakomai IR Race

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    First Hokkaido IR Showcase to Open at End of November

    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.

    Government Intervenes to Boost Recovery in Hokkaido Tourism

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    Hokkaido Governor Highlights Need for Resilient Tourism Infrastructure

    Hokkaido Governor Harumi Takahashi visited Tokyo on Tuesday to make a number of requests related to recovery from the massive earthquake earlier this month, some of these requests highlighting the need to strengthen the tourist infrastructure against blackouts and similar emergencies.

    Hard Rock Donates to Hokkaido Earthquake Relief

    Hard Rock International has pledged US$100,000 to the Japan Red Cross for relief efforts connected with the Hokkaido Earthquake, which killed 41 people and injured many more.

    Hokkaido Attracted Record Number of Tourists in FY2017

    New figures show that Hokkaido attracted a record number of tourists in FY2017—56.1 million people—which was a 3% advance over the previous fiscal year.

    Hokkaido Municipalities Make Their IR Cases

    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.

    IR Operators Pitch to Tomakomai Business Leaders

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    Four Consortia Bidding to Operate Hokkaido’s Airports

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    Hokkaido Governor Looks for Support from Tomakomai

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    Hokkaido Experts Committee to Select Candidate Site Before Year End

    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.

    Hokkaido Governor to Set Up IR Experts Committee

    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.

    Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly Might Block IR Bid

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    Allen: Hard Rock Now Focused on Tomakomai

    Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, was interviewed by a Japanese camera crew at the June 28 opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, and apparently made definitive comments that Hard Rock’s IR bid in Japan was now entirely focused on Tomakomai, Hokkaido.

    Pro-IR Tomakomai Mayor Iwakura Gains New Term

    Tomakomai Mayor Hirofumi Iwakura, a strong advocate for hosting an IR in his northern Japanese city, won a fourth 4-year term in office after no other candidate registered before the filing deadline.

    Hard Rock to Open Tomakomai Office

    Hard Rock Japan is preparing to open an office in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, in August or September, a further signal that the Orlando, Florida, based operator is focusing its IR efforts on this regional city.

    Kushiro Mayor Promotes Tomakomai as the Gateway to Hokkaido

    Hiroya Ebina, mayor of Kushiro city, was remarkably frank during his appearance at the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo that he now fully backed the rival bid of Tomakomai city, which he agreed could become the “gateway to Hokkaido” for visiting tourists.

    Tomakomai Best Positioned for Hokkaido IR

    The Hokkaido Prefecture Government estimates that an IR placed at Tomakomai city would draw more visitors and produce more revenues than its local rivals.
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