Population (Prefectural): 1.8 million
GDP (Prefectural): 8 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Nagashima Spa Land
Main IR Assets: Kuwana sits at the edge of the Nagoya metropolitan area. The candidate site, Nagashima Spa Land, is already developed as an entertainment zone and is contiguous to Ise Bay.
Key Proponent: Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura
Family Name: Suzuki
Given Name: Eikei
Role: Governor of Mie Prefecture
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: Born in Hyogo Prefecture, Suzuki's early career was in METI. He left the ministry after only ten years to run as a Liberal Democratic Party candidate for the House of Representatives in 2009. He lost that election. However, two years later he ran for the post of Governor of Mie Prefecture and won, becoming, at age 36, the youngest governor in the nation.
Family Name: Ito
Given Name: Narutaka
Role: Mayor of Kuwana City
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: Ito worked for five years at Fuji Television before running successfully for the Kuwana City Council in 2006. He made an unsuccessful first bid to become mayor in 2008, returned to the city council in 2010, and was successfully elected mayor in 2012 with wide political support.
Family Name: Okamoto
Given Name: Naoyuki
Organization: Mie Prefectural Chamber of Commerce & Industry
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Okamoto spent most of his career working for the Kintetsu Railway company before leaving in 2009 to lead Mie Kotsu Group Holdings. Additionally, he became Chairman of the Mie Prefectural Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2016.
Kuwana Mayor Narutaka Ito indicated at a press conference on the 13th that he supports an investigation by the Mie Prefectural Government of an IR bid, and his comments suggested that he views an IR as a potential benefit to his community.
The Mie Prefectural Chamber of Commerce and Industry formally requested Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki on Monday to conduct research with an eye toward making an IR bid.
A newly-released report reveals that although attendance at theme parks is growing globally, two theme parks in Japan that are considering nearby IR developments did not share in that bonanza in 2018.
Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki, 44, is expected on Thursday to formally launch his campaign for a third term as Governor of Mie Prefecture. His victory is probably a political precondition for the city of Kuwana to make an IR bid, should the local municipality decide to do so.
Kuwana Mayor Narutaka Ito made clear at his regular press conference on Tuesday that his administration has not outright rejected Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura’s abrupt suggestion that neighboring city Kuwana (within neighboring Mie Prefecture) should consider an IR bid, but rather that they “are proceeding with the gathering of information.”
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.