International edition
June 23, 2021

To boost the number of foreign visitors

Tokyo governor proposes waterfront casino

(Japan).- “To boost the number of foreign visitors to Tokyo, I will consider preparing an integrated resort facility that combines restaurants, theatres and casinos,” said Tokyo Governor, Naoki Inose, explaining he intends to set up a casino in the capital’s waterfront district, even though operating such gambling establishments is currently illegal in Japan.

I expect the Diet to revise the law as soon as possible,” he said at the metropolitan assembly session. In his policy speech, Inose said a casino could serve as a sightseeing facility and a place for social interaction among adults.

Inose’s predecessor, Shintaro Ishihara, suggested building casinos in Tokyo soon after he was elected governor for the first time in 1999. However, Ishihara’s “Casino promotion to Odaiba area” concept was not realized because of stipulations prohibiting gambling in the Penal Code.

Inose was also asked about Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in light of the recent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Istanbul, which is also bidding for the Games.

The governor refrained from commenting about other cities, citing the Olympic Code of Conduct. Inose came under fire after he emphasized Tokyo’s competitive edge over Madrid and Istanbul in an interview with The New York Times, which ran in the newspaper’s April 27 edition.

“For the athletes, where will be the best place to be?” Inose said in the article. "Well, compare the two countries where they have yet to build infrastructure, very sophisticated facilities.” Inose continued: “Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.” The governor later apologized for the remarks.

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