Wakayama prefecture announced on Friday that Koji Ishikawa, a member of the IR Operator Selection Committee and lawyer at GT Tokyo Law Office (Tokyo branch), has resigned.
As reported by Mainichi Shimbun, Ishikawa submitted in writing on 18 June that there “is a possibility that regulations would be violated.” The prefecture’s IR recruitment guidelines stipulate that any company a member of the committee works for cannot be a cooperating firm or advisor of an operator making an application.
The Operator Selection Committee is chaired by Hiroaki Taniguchi, chairman of the Construction Industry Engineers Center and a visiting professor of the Shibaura Institute of Technology, plus nine other members. Wakayama will determine its preferred operator based on the deliberations by the committee.
A replacement for 49-year-old Ishikawa is yet to be decided.
Two candidates, Suncity Group Holdings Japan and Clairvest Neem Ventures, are participating in the public offering from Wakayama prefecture. However, it was announced on 1 June that the acceptance of proposals from operators has been delayed from 31 August to 19 October due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The timeline for deciding an operator has also been delayed from November 2020 to January 2021. The target of opening in the spring of 2025 remains.