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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 10 - 16  > Report suggests Abe legalized casino operations in Japan due to US pressure
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2018 October 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Report suggests Abe legalized casino operations in Japan due to US pressure

October 12, 2018
A recent report has provided support for an allegation that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo covered up the fact that he received pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to promote U.S. casino companies’ entry into Japan during his visit to the U.S. in February 2017.

The U.S. investigative reporting website “ProPublica” on October 10 reported that when Trump met with Abe at his villa in southern Florida in February 2017, he urged that the major U.S. entertainment company Las Vegas Sands be allowed to open a casino in Japan. The casino operator’s CEO, Sheldon Adelson, is one of the big-money donators to Trump.

Abe has long been suspected of having been pressured by Trump in regard to the legalization of casino gambling in Japan, but he denied this in Diet meetings. If it is found that Abe made false statements in a bid to not stir up public concern over the casino implementation bill, which was forcibly enacted in July this year, it would be highly controversial.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Shiokawa Tetsuya on June 1 at a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting where the casino implementation bill was discussed cited a news report that reported on the Trump-Abe summit meeting held in the White House in February 2017 when Trump mentioned the names of Las Vegas Sands and other companies in connection with Abe’s move to legalize casino gambling. Asked by Shiokawa whether the news report is accurate, Abe said that it is not based on fact.

Shiokawa in the committee referred to the fact that Abe attended a breakfast meeting before the summit talks together with business leaders, including the top officials of Las Vegas Sands and two other major casino operators. Shiokawa suspected that Abe had received some kinds of requests from the three companies at the meeting. Abe in response said that they had mentioned opening a casino in Japan but made no specific requests.

If the forcible enactment of the unpopular casino implementation bill was carried out under U.S. pressure, it should be criticized as a betrayal of the public trust. Abe must sincerely respond to the allegation.

Past related articles:
> Casino implementation law forcibly enacted [July 21, 2018]
> Major US casino operator donates money to LDP casino proponents [July 13, 2018]
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