All papers reported on the start of parliamentary deliberations at the Lower House yesterday of legislation to legalize gambling, noting that the ruling LDP is hoping to put the bill to a committee vote on Friday for passage by the plenary session on Dec. 6. The party is reportedly aiming to enact the legislation during the current Diet session, which has been extended through Dec. 14. The dailies said the Komeito party holds the key to the fate of the so-called integrated resort bill, as many of its lawmakers are cautious about the legislation out of concern that it will end up causing many people to become addicted to gambling. The junior ruling coalition partner may allow its politicians to vote on the legislation based on their own judgment instead of demanding that they take a unified approach.
Asahi wrote that the LDP appears to be determined to pass the bill during the current Diet term in the belief that it may be shelved indefinitely if it is carried over to next year because the Diet will probably be preoccupied with deliberations on a proposed bill to allow the Emperor to abdicate. The daily also said the Kantei is pressing the LDP to promote the legislation aggressively in order to obtain support for Abe’s signature policy of amending the Constitution from the Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party, which has strongly called for the enactment of the casino bill. The paper added that even if the legislation is passed, the GOJ will still need to enact in about a year or so a separate bill to exempt casino gambling from the gambling specified in the Penal Code.