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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > Lawyers hold rally to oppose bill to legalize casinos
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2014 October 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Lawyers hold rally to oppose bill to legalize casinos

October 5, 2014
The Osaka Bar Association on October 4 held a symposium seeking to scrap a bill to legalize casino gambling, as the Abe government is pushing for legalization.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on October 1 at a House of Councilors plenary session expressed his willingness to work to pass the bill on casino businesses on the grounds that it will contribute to boosting the tourism industry and benefit local economies.

At the symposium, Niisato Koji, who heads the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA)’s working group on the multiple debt issue, said that while the ubiquity of pachinko parlors is at the root of the gambling addiction issue in Japan, the legalization of casinos is totally unacceptable as it will make the issue of gambling addiction more serious. The Health Ministry’s survey shows that 5.36 million Japanese are suffering from pathological gambling.

Hannan University Professor Sakurada Teruo stressed that casinos will not contribute to a revitalization of local economies. Shizuoka University Professor Torihata Yoichi said that many towns and cities in the U.S. have built casinos, but failed to stimulate local economies. Judicial scrivener Shinkawa Shinichi stated that the presence of casinos will bring many troubles upon local communities.

The JFBA and 14 local bar associations have issued statements calling for the abolition of the casino bill. A street interview by a citizens’ group opposing casinos revealed that around 80% of respondents object to the introduction of casinos.

The bill to allow casino gambling is supported by a lawmakers’ group which consists of 200 parliamentarians, excluding members of the Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties. The JCP have been strongly opposing the legalization of casinos.

Past related articles
> Legalization of casinos will increase rate of gambling addiction in Japan [August 25, 2014]
> JCP calls for support for gambling addicts and killing of bill to OK casinos [April 29, 2014]
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