(Mainichi: October 9, 2014 – p. 5)
In discussing legislation that would legalize casino gambling – a hot issue in the ongoing Diet session — at a meeting of the House of Councillors’ Budget Committee yesterday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed hope for the promotion of integrated resorts with casinos. He said, “As proved by a significant increase in the number of tourists in Singapore, casino resorts will contribute to Japan’s economic growth.” In May Abe toured integrated resorts in Singapore.
In the meantime, Abe expressed his intention to resign as supreme advisor in the supra-partisan parliamentary league for promotion of international tourism, which drew up the gambling legalization bill. A lawmaker pointed out in the meeting: “You are in the position entailing responsibility for preventing all problems, including gambling addiction. In light of this, your stance [to promote casino resorts] is improper.” Promptly responding to this comment, Abe said, “You are absolutely right. I will resign from the post.” (Abridged)