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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 18 - 24  > Casino implementation law forcibly enacted
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2018 July 18 - 24 [POLITICS]
editorial 

Casino implementation law forcibly enacted

July 21, 2018
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

A casino implementation bill became law on July 20 after the Liberal Democratic, Komei, and "Ishin no Kai" parties used their majority to enact the bill in the Upper House plenary session.

The lifting of the ban on casino gambling in Japan has been promoted under the strong initiative of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. He in May 2014 visited Singapore to see the casino facilities there. Since then, he has had his eye on casinos as a centerpiece of Japan's growth strategy.

The establishment of casino-centric resorts integrated with international convention halls, showrooms, hotels, theaters, and other entertainment facilities is ostensibly for promotion of tourism, promotion of local economies, and job creation, as well as to increase tax revenues. These integrated resorts will generate revenue mainly from casinos. The ruling parties call the new law an "integrated resorts act".

Up until today, private gambling including casinos has been illegal in Japan. The new law allows private businesses to run gambling parlors to pursue private interests, opening the way for foreign casino capital to come into Japan.

Sheldon Adelson is CEO of a major U.S. casino operator, Las Vegas Sands, which also has a casino resort in Singapore which PM Abe visited. Adelson said that his company had made inroads into Singapore as a warmup, professing that the goal is to invest about one trillion yen in establishing casinos in Japan. The foreign casino industry sees Japan, said to be holding private assets valued at 1,800 trillion yen, as a golden market to exploit. The establishment of casinos in Japan will return the initial investment in no time and will make massive profits.

Prior to the latest law, the casino legalization law was enacted in December 2016. It was recently revealed that all the five proposers of this law had received funding from a consultant for a U.S. casino operator in the form of ticket purchases for fundraising parties. Overseas casino companies have spent a lot of money and time smoothing the path to have Japan remove the ban on casino gambling. In this sense, the two laws which meet their desire can be dubbed "laws to sell Japan".

Past related articles:
> US casino lobby boasts it educated Japanese lawmakers to work for casino legalization [July 17, 2018]
> Major US casino operator donates money to LDP casino proponents [July 13, 2018]
> 70% of casino profits in Japan may go back to overseas casino owners [June 26, 2018]
> Casinos may involve money lending operations [May 24, 2018]
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