Echizen IR Proposal in the Slow Lane

The Fukui Association of Corporate Executives has not received a proactive response from the governmental authorities about their IR proposal for Echizen city, made in March. “There’s not a feeling of active movement so much as just waiting,” says Seiwa Higashiyama, the secretary-general of the business association, to AGB Nippon.

Higashiyama suggests that the large financial investment that would be needed, as well as the sense that Echizen may have moved a little too late with only three IR licenses to be made available nationally, may be contributing to the low-key government reactions.

According to an official at the Echizen City Hall, Mayor Toshiyuki Nara found the Fukui Association of Corporate Executives’ IR plan to be “very interesting,” but the mayor is more positive about the notion of building a convention center, hotel, shopping center, and the other non-gaming elements. The idea of building a casino is more controversial to local residents, and it’s not clear whether or not the mayor would support it.

As for Governor Issei Nishikawa and the Fukui Prefectural Government, whose support is essential to make an IR bid, no one knows where they stand at this point. No statements on the issue have been forthcoming from that quarter.

In spite of the lethargic political response, Higashiyama still believes that an IR bid makes sense for the area around the future Nanetsu shinkansen station, expected to be completed in Echizen in the spring of 2023. It will have 100 hectares of land next to it just waiting for development, and the Fukui Association of Corporate Executives estimates that an IR would be the most effective option from an economic standpoint. (AGB Nippon)