One of the most distinguished businessmen in the Japanese city of Yokohama has reportedly announced that he intends to kill himself by committing ‘seppuku’ if the community ever opens its envisioned integrated casino resort.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Yukio Fujiki (pictured) was the head of the influential Yokohama Harbor Transport Association until stepping down in June so as to take over the reins of a campaign that is working to prevent the Honshu municipality of just over 3.7 million inhabitants from winning the right to host a planned Las Vegas-style development.
Although most forms of gambling are currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of 2018 that is to see the nation of some 126 million people allow three disparate communities to open integrated casino resorts offering a large range games including two types of baccarat and eight derivations of poker. The source detailed that Yokohama is hoping to be given approval to bring just such a development to a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park although its campaign is due to face stiff competition in the form of contending bids from the cities of Sasebo, Osaka and Wakayama.
Fujiki reportedly also recently resigned as President of the Fujiki Transportation and Stevedoring Company Limited in order to lead the Yokohama Harbour Resort Association and support endeavors that would redevelop the Tokyo Bay site for the planned integrated casino resort without the need for gambling. The 90-year-old’s new organization has purportedly moreover thrown its weight behind anti-gaming candidate Takeharu Yamanaka in advance of an August 22 election that is set to see the electorate of Yokohama pick a new mayor.
In speaking about this upcoming election at a local Tuesday gathering of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and Fujiki reportedly asserted that he is not against gambling in general but is strongly opposed to the building of a giant integrated casino resort along the waterfront of Japan’s second largest city.
Fujiki reportedly stated…
“The point is that no matter who becomes mayor, I will not let them build an integrated casino resort in the port. If you want to build a tiny casino in a far-off corner on the very edge of Yokohama, then fine. There are many people who support casinos, betting their lives, but I will not allow a casino in Yokohama. If a casino happens, I will commit seppuku and die on its opening day.”
Also known as ‘harakiri’, the disembowelment practiced as part of ‘seppuku’ was originally reserved for samurai warriors wishing to commit suicide in the face of capture. Fujiki reportedly finished the encounter by controversially describing the incumbent pro-casino mayor of Yokohama, Fumiko Hayashi, as ‘a robot’ and a ‘marionette’ of current Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in advance of predicting that anti-gambling Liberal Democratic Party candidate Hachiro Okonogi would win the upcoming electoral contest.