Japanese Consul-General Mitsuhiro Wada, who holds the rank of ambassador, said yesterday that Japan should learn from Macau’s experience in running the integrated resorts rather than be gaming industry rivals as Japan is preparing to open casino resorts.
Wada made the comment while speaking to The Macau Post Daily at the opening of the Japan Pavilion, organised by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, at Tap Seac Gallery.
The Japan Pavilion is part of the government-initiated “Art Macao” festival.
Wada said in his speech he wishes that the amicable relationship between Japan and Macau will continue to develop “harmoniously and beautifully” – the meaning of Japan’s new era name “Reiwa”.
Wada said that this was the first time the consulate is hosting such an event in Macau that promotes Japanese arts and crafts, adding that besides art, he hopes that Japan and Macau could further strengthen their already close ties through the import of food and agricultural products from Japan as the Japanese government is promoting their export, and through exchanges about the integrated resorts sector.
“Japan is going to start the business of integrated resorts, Macau is very experienced in this field and Japan should learn from Macau’s experience,” Wada said, pointing out that the city’s experience in nurturing professionals in casino resorts was one of the areas that they could work together on.
Asked if casino resorts in Japan would rival those in Macau, Wada said that Japan’s casino resorts would have a different business model than those in Macau.
“Macau has really a huge gaming industry, in Japan’s case, we cannot follow Macau’s model, we will create our business in a Japanese way which could be very different from Macau’s integrated resort business,” Wada said, adding he believes that most of its resort guests would be local Japanese people.
“In Macau, most of the customers are coming from the mainland and Hong Kong, but in Japan’s case, the majority of the guests will be Japanese, we also welcome tourists from all over the world, but the main customers would be Japanese people, so I don’t think there will be much competition between Macau and Japan,” Wada said.
In addition, Wada said that Japanese businesses have shown interest in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) development after a delegation of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau representatives went to Japan in April to present future development programmes in the GBA.
“But they still don’t know the concrete measures, how they will integrate the three different custom territories into the GBA, so we need to know more about the programmes, future plans,” he said, adding he hopes measures would be announced soon so that Japanese companies could see new opportunities to expand their business links with the GBA.
“I don’t see [growth in the Japanese business presence in Macau] yet, but maybe with the development of the GBA initiative, hopefully in the future we will have some growth,” Wada said.