Anti-casino protestor interrupts highly anticipated Deputy Mayor's speech at 1st IR Expo in Yokohama - IAG

Wednesday 29th January 2020

The great divide between supporters and opponents of an IR industry in Japan was laid bare on Wednesday morning when an anti-casino protestor interrupted a keynote address by the Deputy Mayor of Yokohama, Toshihide Hirahara, at the 1st IR Expo in Yokohama.

Hirahara was 10 minutes into his address to an audience of more than 300 when the protestor, who was sitting in the front row, put on a helmet with a built-in microphone, chanted, "We don't need a casino, we don't need a casino," to the Deputy Mayor, then turned around and repeated his statement three more times to the crowd.

As he moved towards the deputy mayor, a staff member intervened and asked him to return to his seat while Hirahara continued his address as if nothing had happened.

Another 10 minutes passed before the protestor and a friend stood up and walked out of the room while again chanting, "We don't need a casino." Incredibly, at no stage was the protestor, who appeared to be a representative of a local anti-casino group, actually asked to leave.

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