Tokyo, Sept. 4 (Jiji Press)–The Japan Tourism Agency on Wednesday unveiled a draft basic policy on the introduction of up to three casino-featuring integrated resorts across the country.
The draft policy sets criteria for designating IR districts, requiring “good relations” with local communities and financial stability of IR operators.
Priorities are placed on IRs’ positive effects on regional economies and tourism, and measures to combat possible negative implications such as rises in gambling addiction and crimes.
The government aims for the opening of IRs in the mid-2020s. But the draft does not include more details about the schedule.
The agency will accept public comments on the draft until Oct. 3, planning to formally adopt a basic policy by July next year.
“We aim to map out a basic policy while carefully listening to those concerned, and realize benefits from IR development as soon as possible,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference Wednesday.
In an extraordinary parliamentary session seen starting in October, the government is expected to present its nominations to a planned five-member casino oversight committee.
Local governments including the city of Yokohama, the prefecture and city of Osaka, and Nagasaki Prefecture have expressed their readiness to host IRs. More local governments may follow after the draft policy was released.
The release was delayed until after the House of Councillors election in July, due to concerns about its possible impact on the election, informed sources said.