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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > Osaka’s bid for 2025 World Expo disguises its intent to attract casino businesses
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Osaka’s bid for 2025 World Expo disguises its intent to attract casino businesses

April 26, 2017
The national and Osaka Prefectural governments are working to host an international exposition to Osaka while concealing their intent to open large-scale gambling casinos there.

On April 24, the Japanese government filed Osaka’s candidacy to host the 2025 World Exposition with the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris. The City of Paris already submitted its bid to host the international event. The venue will be decided by a majority vote at the BIE’s general meeting scheduled for November 2018.

The problem is that Japan’s central and Osaka governments are deliberately hiding a plan to construct casino-centric “Integrated Resort (IR)” facilities in Osaka in an attempt to win the support of BIE member nations that are critical of the gambling business. Recently, Industry Minister Seko Hiroshige said that the IR project has “no direct relation” to Osaka’s bid for the world expo. Osaka Governor Matsui Ichiro also began to argue that the project and the Expo are “different things in the first place”.

Actually, the Osaka government has pushed its artificial island of Yumeshima as a candidate site for the Expo and as a place to invite “world-class” IR operators. Last October, Governor Matsui, leading the Japan Innovation Party (Nippon Ishin) which helped the ruling Liberal Democratic Party railroad through the Diet the bill to lift a ban on casino gambling in Japan, said, “If the IR project and the World Expo are both realized in Osaka, it will produce a synergy effect.” Sumi Kazuo, a vice chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation sponsoring the governor, stated in an Asahi Shimbun article published on April 25, “It is necessary to think about how to create a community which combines the Expo site with IR facilities.”

The theme of the “Osaka Expo” is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. Is this phrase consistent with the casino business which is built on many people’s misfortunes? It is called into question now whether those who promote gambling are suitable to host the dream-inspiring world event.

Past related article:
> Bills to cut pension benefits and legalize casino businesses forcibly enacted [December 15, 2016]
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