Hiroshi Mizohata

Formula 1 News: Osaka hopes to co-exist with Suzuka (2nd Update)

(GMM) Suzuka’s new long-term contract with Formula 1 does not mean a new project in Osaka will fail.

That is the insistence of Hiroshi Mizohata, president of the Osaka tourism board, despite F1 having agreed to keep the Japanese GP at Suzuka through 2029.

Just weeks earlier, the Osaka tourism board had announced its intention to attract F1.

When asked about Suzuka’s new contract, Mizohata told as-web.jp: “There is no impact on us.

“Suzuka is a great example to us and something to be respected, so we hope we can coexist and prosper together. I have no desire to take F1 away from Suzuka,” he insisted.

He said the decision to put together an F1 project for the future in Osaka dates back a year, including visits to the races in Melbourne, Singapore and Las Vegas.

“We have not had any specific negotiations with FOM,” Mizohata clarified. “But while there is a general principle of holding one grand prix per country, there are already multiple in the United States and Italy.

“We have investigated the background behind two races being held in Japan, and have come to the conclusion that if we put together a solid business scheme and follow the necessary steps, the possibility of holding the event is not zero.”

He admitted a decision about whether to build a permanent circuit or look into a layout on public roads is yet to be taken.

“I would like to proceed with our plan over the course of the year and present it to FOM,” said Mizohata.

January 24, 2024 

The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau has confirmed its aspirations to construct a new street circuit on the man-made Yumeshima Island in Osaka Bay, with news organization Japan Today getting confirmation from Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura.

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura

“We would very much like to realize the Osaka F1 Grand Prix,” the Governor said.

“If we can attract investment from the world, we’ll be able to achieve things we currently can’t realize in Japan,” (referring to the island hosting the 2025 World Exposition).

“Racing on a street circuit might be achievable at Yumeshima … It would be difficult to use regular asphalt roads. We should develop better quality ones.”

If the Osaka bid is successful, it would add a seventh street race to the calendar after the introduction of Las Vegas in 2023, while Madrid will join the ranks in 2026 after taking over the Spanish Grand Prix from another regular permanent circuit Catalunya.

The man-made island is currently under a $1.6 billion dollar reconstruction to ready itself for the World Exposition, being transformed from an industrial island into a site featuring transportation links, hotels, conference centers and residential areas (plus the 155 hectare expo site) with a newly-built one mile bridge connecting it to the main island.

January 22, 2024 

(GMM) A potential rival host for the annual Japanese GP may have emerged: Osaka, according to Hiroshi Mizohata.

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 (shown above), 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 capitalize 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.”

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