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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 8 - 14  > Casino promotion disappears from draft of PM Abe’s economic growth strategy
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2020 July 8 - 14 [ECONOMY]

Casino promotion disappears from draft of PM Abe’s economic growth strategy

July 10, 2020

The promotion of casino-centric integrated resorts (IR) was dropped from a draft of the basic policy on economic and fiscal management for 2020 (known as the “big-boned policy”), which was released on July 8 by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a Prime Minister Abe Shinzo-hosted advisory panel.

In 2014 when PM Abe remarked, “The IR development is the centerpiece of the government’s growth strategy,” the basic policy for the first time dealt with the promotion of the IR development. Since then, the IR development has been incorporated in the annual basic policy paper.

The 2019 “big-boned” policy states, “To promote construction of IRs to realize attractive stay-type tourism which is highly competitive in the international market, basic principles will be developed steadfastly pursuant to the Act on Promotion of Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas.” This was cited as part of measures to “attain the targets of receiving 40 million inbound foreign tourists a year by 2020 and 60 million by 2030 and thus make Japan a ‘tourism nation’”.

The newly released draft maintains that as inbound tourism has a great potential to achieve Japan’s growth in the post-coronavirus era, a joint initiative of the public and private sectors should be facilitated to achieve the government goals, such as 60 million foreign tourists by 2030, in pursuit of turning Japan into an “advanced tourism nation”. On the other hand, the draft did not mention any policy on the IR development scheme.

A majority of the general public is opposed to the opening of casino businesses in Japan. In addition, the coronavirus upheaval has put the government’s casino-oriented IR project on the back burner.

The disappearance of the IR-related policy from the growth strategy draft shows that the government has to admit that there is no reasonable basis for maintaining the IR development policy as a core component of its growth strategy.

Past related article:
> Las Vegas Sands Resorts drops its plans to open casino in Japan [May 15, 2020]
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