On Monday, the Osaka city government held the first meeting of its “Yumeshima Development Promotion Headquarters” at the City Hall building under the direct leadership of Mayor Ichiro Matsui. Officials from the prefectural government, such as Vice-Governor Seigo Tanaka, were also in attendance.
The Yumeshima Development Promotion Headquarters aims to coordinate plans between both public and private sector in connection with both the 2025 World Expo and the anticipated IR construction.
Presently, the Osaka prefectural and city governments are openly annoyed with the Japanese central government for its delays in establishing the Casino Management Board and the issuance of specific regulations regarding IR bids and requirements.
There is a growing fear that these central government policy delays—regarded in Osaka as unnecessary and counterproductive—may result in an IR construction schedule that will miss the opening of the 2025 World Expo. This would create a massive loss of economic opportunity for the local community, with an estimated 28 million people expected to visit Yumeshima for the six months of the Expo.
Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura recently demanded, “I would like the government to do what was planned, not to do things for political reasons.”
A growing number of IR industry analysts are now predicting that Osaka’s goal of opening its Yumeshima IR in 2024 will prove to be too ambitious.
Separately, the Kansai Economic Federation and the Union of Kansai Governments held talks last week to discuss plans to improve transportation and access to Yumeshima, including both by land and sea. (AGB Nippon)