IRs at stake in Democratic Party race

The Democratic Party leadership race in Japan could be key to IR development as the two candidates have opposing positions on them.

Japan.- The casino industry in Japan is yet to be developed and several topics are still to be determined. Integrated Resorts (IRs) are among them and the Democratic Party (leading opposition in Japan) leadership race could play a key role in their further progress.

The more conservative candidate is Seiji Maehara. According to AGBrief, he has built a strong lead among party lawmakers and is a member of the cross-party group that lobbied in favour of the establishment of IRs as he believes that they could become an important driver for inbound tourism.

Last December, the Democratic Party pushed against the enactment of the IR Promotion Act. That’s why Maehara is promoting the “study” of the party’s policy on IRs and believes that their stance could change in the future.

On the other end stands Yukio Edano, who advocates against IRs and remains aligned with the party’s original position. “Even if there is a certain positive economic effect, the issues of gambling addiction and rising personal debt must be resolved,” he said.

According to an AGB consultation with Democratic Party lawmakers, the party stands at a 60-40 split against IRs. However, the final result will be revealed after September 1, when the leadership election takes place and determines the party’s position, or even its dissolution over ideological differences.

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