MGM Japan and its joint-venture partner ORIX have taken a major step forward in their plans to build a $10bn integrated resort in Osaka.

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has certified the Area Development Plan submitted by Osaka Prefecture/City and Osaka IR KK, the joint venture between MGM Resorts Japan and ORIX Corporation.

The certification is one of the final steps in the licensing process under Japan’s Integrated Resort Development Act and clears the way for MGM Resorts Japan and ORIX to finalise agreements with Osaka Prefecture/City on the construction of the project.

Area development plan: transforming the region

The proposed development was unveiled last year as part of the licensing submission process and is designed to transform the region.

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In a press release, MGM said: “The proposed development is designed to transform the region into one of the world’s top entertainment and hospitality destinations and to serve as a hub for tourism across Japan.”

This certification is a significant step for MGM Japan and ORIX, who are now one step closer to breaking ground on what will be a transformative project for the region.

The proposed integrated resort is expected to bring significant economic benefits to the area and create thousands of jobs.

With the certification in place, the project is expected to move forward quickly.