A casino, an expo, tourists, trains, and old nuclear power plants. These are just some of the major issues the Kansai region faces in 2017.

In addition, the fortunes of Osaka-centric opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai and Komeito in both the Diet and the Tokyo Municipal Assembly next year are questions of growing national political importance.

Here, then, in no particular order, are some things to keep an eye on.