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Plans to develop an integrated resort (IR) in Yokohama are now in doubt after anti-IR campaigner Takeharu Yamanaka won the mayoral elections held on August 22.

Takeharu Yamanaka, who was chosen as the candidate to represent the CDPJ, has cleared the 25% threshold of votes needed to avoid a second round.

The term of office of the mayor is four years, which means Yokohama is unlikely to participate in Japan’s first round of IR licences. Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Genting Singapore were the two remaining candidates to be Yokohama’s partner for its bid.

Yamanaka is 48 years old and works as a professor at Yokohama City University. He specialises in public health and medical statistics and has worked on Covid-19 countermeasures. He’s known to disagree with the development of an integrated resort, arguing that it could cause issues with gambling addiction.