Tuesday evening’s TV-Asahi “Hodo Station” highlighted the passage at a Lower House plenary session of the legislation to legalize casinos, noting that the Komeito party had no choice but to go along with the vote since the Abe administration is determined to enact it during the current Diet session. “As the Kantei’s determination was unexpectedly strong, it was now or never,” said an unnamed senior Komeito official, who explained that enacting the bill next year would be detrimental to the party’s campaign for the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election next summer. Regular commentator Goto said the LDP chose to “railroad” the controversial bill by taking advantage of the extension of the Diet term despite protests from the opposition, which had apparently assumed the legislation would be shelved on account of its unpopularity within the ruling coalition. According to the show, even some bill proponents were apprehensive about its “speedy” passage in the lower chamber, with President Kiso of the International Casino Institute Ltd. saying: “Parliamentary discussions have been grossly insufficient on such critical issues as how to prevent gambling addiction. Effective countermeasures must be identified before the GOJ prepares a separate bill on the operation of casinos.