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Osaka to Take Over Local Metro Ahead of Casino Launch in Japan

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Osaka Metro Co Ltd has submitted an official proposal to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, with plans to launch a 3.2-kilometer (1.9 miles) railway by 2024. This new line aims to connect Osaka with Yumeshima, an artificial island set to host Japan's first integrated resort (IR) with a casino in the upcoming decade. Significantly, Yumeshima will also serve as the venue for 'Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Japan.'

Yumeshima Emerges as a Prime Destination

The Osaka local government has partnered with major private entities, including the US-based MGM Resorts International and Japan's Orix Corp. Their collective goal is to establish MGM Osaka on this reclaimed land. Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts' CEO, recently shared plans to start the Osaka IR construction by the latter part of next year, aiming for a 2030 debut.

Before becoming a casino haven, Yumeshima is on track to host the 'Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Japan.' This global event is expected to boost the island's international profile and highlight the need for effective transportation systems.

In line with this, Osaka Metro's upcoming railway initiative, named the "Hokko Technoport Line," is designed to connect the Cosmosquare station on the Osaka Metro Chuo Line to Yumeshima. The terminal at Yumeshima will be aptly named "Yumeshima Station."

A Glimpse into Japan's Integrated Resort Ambitions

The central Japanese government has approved the IR District Development Plan introduced by Osaka city and prefecture. As a result, the upcoming metro link and its associated station aim to provide easy access to the Osaka IR.

Osaka Metro is keen on its developmental timeline, aiming to operationalize the Hokko Technoport Line by the close of the fiscal year 2024. This project reflects the city's overarching ambition to promote Yumeshima's appeal.

While the prospects for MGM Osaka appear promising, it's been a difficult road to reach this point. Another IR proposal for Nagasaki remains under consideration and faces various obstacles, casting a shadow over its eventual realization.

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