Abe inspects two casino resorts in Singapore

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday took in two casino resort facilities in Singapore after arriving to attend a three-day security summit for the Asia-Pacific region.

Abe intends to draw on Singapore’s experience in bolstering tourism with integrated resort facilities, Japanese government sources said.

The Singaporean government announced a plan in 2005 to build integrated resort facilities and draw casinos to the city state in 2010. Gambling facilities can produce favorable economic effects, such as an increase in tourism, but also come with steep downside risks, such crime, addiction and other gambling-related social problems.

In December 2013, Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Nippon Ishin (Japan Restoration Party) and the People’s Life Party submitted a bill to the Diet to “urge” the construction of integrated resort facilities in Japan.

The Democratic Party of Japan, which is the main opposition force, and Buddhist-backed New Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, are opposed to the measure because of the possible negative effects that the resorts, and any gambling facilities they lure, will have on the nation’s public security.