Yokohama mayoral elections scheduled for 22 August to avoid Olympics

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The Yokohama City Election Commission announced on 8 April that the Yokohama mayoral election will be held on Sunday 22 August 2021 following expiration of mayor Fumiko Hayashis current term earlier that month. Care was taken to reduce overlap with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics scheduled to run from 23 July to 8 August 2021.

The Yokohama mayoral election is attracting attention because of the expected impact it will have on the citys IR bid project. Yokohama city has already started open recruitment, with an operator to be selected in the summer.

A Yokohama official said Thursday that the mayoral election and IR operator selection were different matters and their respective schedules had no bearing on one another, but it cannot be denied that the results of the election could be swayed depending on whether the city announces the results of its RFP before or after the election. As a result, there is considerable pressure on the schedule.

Masataka Ota (75), a member of the Yokohama City Council who opposes the IR bid, and Akiko Fujimura (47), a representative director of an animal rights group, have expressed their intention to run as independents and oppose IR development. However, Mayor Hayashi has still not confirmed whether or not she will run for office again.