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Ruling parties at loggerheads over casino bill

  • September 23, 2016
  • , Mainichi , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

With the extraordinary Diet session set to be convened on Sept. 26, a dispute has surfaced within the ruling parties over the integrated resorts promotion bill (casino bill). The Liberal Democratic Party wants to see the bill passed quickly as the LDP has high hopes integrated resorts (IRs) will promote tourism. Meanwhile, the Komeito is digging in its heels as it has concerns that casinos will harm public safety.

 

“Tourist numbers are increasing even without integrated resorts. We have no intention at present of suddenly changing our position,” said Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi at a press conference on Sept. 21, expressing once again his cautious stance on the issue. Top Kantei leaders, however, are letting it be known to those around them that they “want to have IRs.” The two parties are at loggerheads.

 

The LDP Diet Affairs Committee plans to decide how to handle the bill at the extraordinary session by watching developments in the ruling parties.

 

Speaking to reporters on Sept. 10 from Hanoi, Vietnam, LDP Secretary-General Nikai seemed to take into account the views of those cautious about the bill. “Japan’s tourism continues to develop even without IRs. I would like to see the matter dealt with in a cool-headed manner,” he said. (Abridged)

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