Jan.22 (GMM) A potential rival host for the annual Japanese GP may have emerged: Osaka.
Formula 1’s traditional and highly popular Japanese venue is Honda-owned Suzuka, in the Mie prefecture.
But the tourism bureau chief of the Osaka prefecture, Hiroshi Mizohata, said last week after a meeting with city officials and the private Kansai Economic Federation that F1 may be an option for Osaka City.
“The F1 series has changed into a business model that can be operated on a private-sector basis,” he declared. “We would like to move forward with the invitation.”
He says Osaka’s private sector had invited government officials to look into hosting a grand prix.
Mizohata said Formula 1 would be the perfect way for the region to capitalise on Osaka’s hosting of the World Expo event, scheduled for 2025.
“F1 is no longer a standalone motor race,” he insisted. “It has turned into a comprehensive entertainment program. If we clear each step, and we do it step by step, it will be possible.”
Mizohata’s comments were published by the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, which reported that a potential F1 race in Osaka would take place on public roads.
Osaka prefecture governor Hirofumi Yoshimura commented: “We welcome any talk of wanting to take on the challenge (of F1) with private management.
“I think there are challenges, but we would like to cooperate as much as possible.”