The Argument is a new feature dedicated to promoting dialogue and deeper understanding of contentious issues by introducing various viewpoints.

As a longtime member of a nonpartisan group of lawmakers promoting integrated resorts, my basic stance is to promote the introduction of IRs as a whole, rather than casinos alone.

Japan needs the resorts because it's a tool essential to the nation's goal of establishing itself as a "tourism-oriented" country. Being a native of the city of Beppu, Oita Prefecture, which has long thrived as one of Japan's most popular hot-spring sightseeing spots, I've been a longtime advocate for the power of tourism.