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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 14 - 20  > Tokyo gov’t promotes casino development in guise of private initiative
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2020 October 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Tokyo gov’t promotes casino development in guise of private initiative

October 20, 2020
Akahata inquiries and questioning by a Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member have revealed that the Tokyo government uses a mechanism designed to promote casino development in the guise of supporting private initiatives.

Akahata on October 19 learned that Japan’s three major companies in the development, media, and banking industries submitted to the metropolitan government between 2016 and 2018 their development plans which propose the construction of casino-centric integrated resorts (IR). This was shown in materials which Akahata obtained from the Tokyo Metropolitan government through information disclosure requests.

The three companies are Mori Building Co. Ltd., Fuji Television Network Inc., and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. They are members of a Tokyo government panel discussing development programs in Tokyo’s Special Zone for Asian Headquarters which include casino promotion. The panel was set up in 2011 following former Governor Ishihara Shintaro’s announcement of his intent to open casinos in the capital of Japan.

It has also come to light that during the same period in which the three companies presented their proposals for casino promotion to the panel, Tokyo government bureaucrats met with six casino operators 17 times. This fact came out in questioning by JCP lawmaker Harada Akira on October 19 at a Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly sub-committee meeting.

At the sub-committee meeting of the assembly’s audit committee, JCP Harada urged the Tokyo government to make public the names of the six gambling companies and information regarding the contents of the 17 meetings.

A government official refused to give the names and said that those meetings were occasions to get general information regarding the six companies such as their views on Japan's IR development scheme.

Harada criticized Governor Koike for clinging to casino promotion. He pointed out that the casino business is built taking unfair advantage of gamblers as shown by public criticisms of casinos for causing gambling addiction. Citing the arrest of the former state minister in charge of casino promotion, Harada pressed the Tokyo government to withdraw from the promotion of casino development.

Past related article:
> Tokyo metropolitan gov’t works to invite casino as if it were prearranged policy [August 15, 2019]
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