Osaka officials have denied suggestions that Yumeshima Island – the proposed site for one of three initial IRs to be built nationwide – could be vulnerable to flooding following the devastating impact of the recent Typhoon Jebi.
According to The Japan Times, local residents and opponents of a proposed integrated resort to be built on the man-made Yumeshima Island should Osaka win one of the three IR licenses to be issued have voiced concerns about the safety of the location. In particular they have pointed to the closure of the only bridge leading to Kansai International Airport after a tanker slammed into it during the typhoon.
Yumeshima also has only one access point, however Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui has denied any such problem exists, tweeting, “The island of Yumeshima is higher above sea level than Kansai airport, so there is no problem.
“Yumeshima is nine meters above sea level, so there would be no flooding at all.”
Despite the presence of only one access point, it is expected that the local government would push for further infrastructure to be built leading to the island as part of any IR development. In particular, extension of the underground train line from its current end point in Osaka city to Yumeshima Island appears a likely solution.
However it has also been suggested that the cost of such infrastructure will need to be covered by whichever operator is granted the IR license. Any Osaka bid would likely go to one of the larger conglomerates with Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts and Macau’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment among those to have already named Osaka as a location of interest.