Company: Sasebo City
Family Name: Sawada
Given Name: Hideo
Organization: Huis Ten Bosch
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: Sawada was an entrepreneur in the travel business beginning in 1980, eventually founding H.I.S., one of the nation’s most successful travel agencies. In April 2010 he was also made president of the struggling Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki, and within six months turned it from a loss-making enterprise to a profit-making company. In 2019 he stepped down from his position as Huis Ten Bosch president to become the company’s Chairman without representative rights.
On April 26, it was revealed that Hideo Sawada, chairman and president of the major travel company H.I.S. would be giving up his role as president of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki, apparently in connection with Sasebo city’s IR bid.
Nagasaki has made a major step forward in its plans to bid for an IR license by forming a trilateral agreement between the prefecture, city, and the Huis Ten Bosch theme park operator regarding the precise location for the proposed IR.
As 2018 comes to a close, remarkably few local municipalities are looking like seriously prepared candidates for IR bids, with really only two—Osaka and Wakayama—appearing to have fully lined up their local political and business establishments behind such a bid.
There are indications that one of the key players in Nagasaki’s anticipated bid to host an IR is becoming less enthusiastic about the prospects—Huis Ten Bosch President Hideo Sawada.
Huis Ten Bosch President Hideo Sawada has announced that His Sasebo-based, Dutch-themed park will be welcoming a Chinese partner, the Fosun Group, as a major investor—a move that would likely have ramifications for shape of an IR consortium in Nagasaki, should that location be selected for one of the three available licenses.