• Kyodo

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About 800 pachinko parlors in western Japan have decided to refrain from replacing their game machines with new ones, a measure typically used to attract customers, ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in June, an industry group said Tuesday.

The decision, made after the group discussed with police which pachinko parlors are required by law to apply for the changing or adding of machines, is intended to prevent an extra burden from being placed on police, who will be busy with security-related tasks before and during the summit.

According to the national organization of pachinko halls, almost all parlors in the prefectures of Osaka and Ehime will not apply for the introduction of new game machines in the lead up to the summit. Osaka parlors will not make such applications in June, while Ehime establishments will refrain from applying for new machines from late May to late June. The G20 summit will be held in the city of Osaka from June 28 to 29.

In addition, those in Ehime, whose capital, Matsuyama, is scheduled to host a G20 meeting of labor ministers from Sept. 1 to 2, will handle the matter the same way from late July through to the summit, the organization said. The group said its Osaka and Ehime chapters have already informed their local members of the policy.

“Although some pachinko parlors may voice concern that (the self-restraint) will affect their business, we’d like to cooperate for the success of the G20 summit,” said an official of the national organization.

Pachinko parlors have previously taken similar measures for big international events, such as the 2008 Group of Eight summit in Toyako, Hokkaido, and the 2002 FIFA World Cup jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea.

The G20 consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the U.K., the United States and the European Union.

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