Company: Kitakyushu City
Family Name: Kitahashi
Given Name: Kenji
Role: Mayor of Kitakyushu City
IR Stance: Neutral
Profile: Kitahashi was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986. He was an opposition lawmaker, eventually joining the Democratic Party of Japan when it was formed in 1998. In 2007, he ran for the post of Kitakyushu mayor and became the first opposition party-related politician to win that office in four decades. However, in more recent elections his political base shifted to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Although the Nagasaki Prefectural Government has been trying to consolidate “All-Kyushu” support for its IR bid, alternatives to the Huis Ten Bosch site in Sasebo city continue to be discussed.
The Kitakyushu City IR Promotion Council is finding that Kitakyushu Airport Island should become the focus of their IR bid, if they be able to gain the needed political support from Mayor Kenji Kitahashi.
Sasebo city's plans to create an "All-Kyushu" campaign to give heft to its small-market IR bid fell by the wayside last week when Kitakyushu, the second-largest city on that southwestern Japanese island, initiated moves toward making its own IR bid.