International edition
September 25, 2021

Consisting of 23 articles

Japan: IR and Casino Diet Member Association proposed a gaming bill

(Japan).- The 17th General Assembly of International Sightseeing Industry Development Diet Member Association was held last August 25, with around 200 participants, including 20 diet members. Firstly, Maki announced that this assembly would be the last one in the current ordinary session period of the diet and that it aims at agreeing on the basic concept of the bill to be proposed in the next extraordinary session.

T


hen Chairman Koga eagerly requested to confirm with other members that IR and Casino Diet Member Association shall propose the bill on the table to be proposed in the next extraordinary session. He stated the importance of the bipartisan effort to achieve such goal.

Then Koga explained that this is not merely for entertainment but for the reestablishment of hub for international tourism, convention, etc. In addition, he referred that this approach would be an enormously strong engine to contribute to such purposes without requesting any governmental budget.

Chairman Koga mentioned that it is extremely important to move quick since other Asiancountries like Korea and Taiwan are trying to establish same kind of facility in a near future. He also pointed out that certain revenue out of the operation of proposed IR could be used to repay special government bond to be issued to fund the recovery process from the earthquake occurred on March 11.

He explained that the proposed bill is for the general framework and details would be legislated in the executing act to be drafted based on this bill later. Chairman Koga requested all members to work hard to achieve the consensus of each party based on this bill.

Vice chairman Iwaya restated what Koga mentioned and said that this bill would contribute much to the recovery from the March 11 earthquake as well as to revival of Japan.

Following the above address, Chihara, Deputy General Manager of Legislation Bureau in House of Representatives, explained the basic contents of the bill as follows. This particular bill is revised from the previous one shown at the previous assembly. This is rather short form and has two key points. Firstly, this is the basic bill and details would be further elaborated by the governmental body to be established based on this bill. Secondly, this bill particularly serve for an organizational aspect with establishment of IR Promotion Headquarters which is expected to elaborate the details of execution legislation.

The bill proposed consists of 23 articles, which is quite less than 68 articles proposed last year. Bill just states the purposes, definitions, basic policy, duty of the government, detailed legislation, key principles, casino administration committee, governmental charges and IR Promotion Headquarters.

Purpose is stated to promote tourism, development of regional economy and contribution to the governmental budget. Basic policy particularly refers the importance of the contribution of sound casino operation to the society.

Key principles consists of five items such as:
1) development of internationally recognizable tourism area.
2) Strengthening international competitiveness of tourism industry.
3) respecting regional initiative.
4) regulation of casino operators.
5) regulation of casino facility.

The bill contains the establishment of casino administration committee to authorize casino operators and to regulate casino facilities and operations. It clearly states that governmental revenue out of this IR operation could be used for the required fund to recover from the March11 earthquake and that entrance fee could be charged to the customers. Other members of the assembly were generally affirmative to the proposed procedure.

Answering the request from Nishino to move quick after the passage of the bill, Koga stated that there is a time limit referred in the bill to finalize the all required legislation process in the two year time. Following the comment made by Mihara, an advisor to the assembly regarding the necessity to continuously involve diet members, Koga stated that half of the members of the IR Promotion Council to be established under the bill shall be diet members.

During this assembly, representative of other parties such as Ikenobo of New Komeito and  Kakizawa of “Your Party” clearly stated the support of the bill. In addition, Maki mentioned that “The People's New Party” is quite affirmative of the bill. Koga represents DPJ and Iwaya represents LDP.

After today’s assembly, IR and Casino Diet Member Association made a press conference and number of press and media attended. Koga stated that IR and Casino Diet Member Association want to propose this bill as a basic bill to the public so that entire country could discuss of this new measure for the revival in an affirmative manner.

Iwaya mentioned again the importance of public discussion of the bill so that such discussion could contribute to the development of new industry. Ikenobo said that this is not merely for casino but for revival of entire tourism and Kakizawa referred the importance of the speed to pass the bill. Nakamura, member of the House of Councilors, confirmed to support this bill at the House of Councilors

There were a few questions raised and answers are as follows:
1) Head of Headquartes would be prime minister.
2) Responsible minister for the selection of region would be minister of land.
3) Applicant would be prefecture, city, town or consortium of such regional government.

This approach to propose the basic bill and leave the details for the new governmental body to be established shows the strong commitment of IR and Casino Diet Member Association to pass the bill in the short term.

Although it is not fully clear what would happen after the excepted change of prime minister in Japan, it seems that Japan surely starts to legalize casino since all major parties are positive to this movement.

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