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Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has ruled out a referendum on IR. She said her administration will continue to work alongside the national government to develop the prefecture’s bid for an integrated resort despite opposition.

“IR is not something that should be decided by referendum. We are operating within the guidelines of the national government,” Hayashi said.

The comments were directed to the residents’ group, the Yokohama Citizens’ Group to Decide on a Casino, which has been gathering signatures since September 4 to demand a referendum on whether or not to continue with the IR plans.

Hayashi said that introducing IRs was a national government policy.

“There will be people for it and against it. We will continue with considerations based on the budget decisions of the city council, who represent the city’s residents,” she said.

Critics point out that when she was elected for her third term in the 2017 mayoral election, she had declared she was personally undecided on an IR bid.

“All of my policies are decided after discussions with the city council. I would never take action based on my own, personal decisions,” Hayashi said.