Japan to set up entity to examine casino plan for 2020 Olympics

Kyodo

Japan plans to set up a new body to examine the idea of setting up integrated casino-based resort facilities in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the top government spokesman said Friday.

Officials from various government agencies will come together to work on the matter, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.

Last December, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the Japan Restoration Party and People’s Life Party submitted a bill to the Diet urging the government to build integrated resort facilities in Japan.

Japan aims to boost the economy by opening such facilities ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It will not take that much time” until the preparatory unit is formed, Suga said. “We will need to identify issues to deal with (the casino project) by looking into cases and legal systems in other countries.”

Integrated resort facilities can bring favorable economic effects, for example by attracting more foreign tourists, but it can also bring potential social ills, such as higher crime and gambling-related problems, including addiction.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited two casino resort facilities in Singapore in May while attending a regional security summit.