Japan passes casino bill

The House of Councillors passed the bill on the final day of the extraordinary Diet session.

Japan.- Despite four opposition parties trying to delay the vote that defined the future of casinos in Japan, the House of Councillors passed a bill that paves the way for the legalisation of the casino industry on the last day of the current Diet session.

According to The Mainichi, the bill was approved by the plenary session of the upper house with the full backing of the Liberal Democratic Party. The constant delay of the bill had been a political tactic to end the Diet session without a definitive resolution, and earlier today, the Japanese Communist Party, Liberal Party, Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party attempted to obstruct action on the bill by presenting a no-confidence motion in opposition to the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Cabinet. Nevertheless, the chamber’s committee decided to overrule the motion and allowed to resume the debate and vote.

Despite passing the bill, a report says that citizens are seemingly opposed to the casino industry, showing that 44 percent said that they’re not in favour, 12 percent supported it and 34 percent were undecided. Abe believes that the gambling industry would boost the economy and that it helps with his plan of making Japan a more tourism-oriented country. Japan Times reported that LDP lawmaker Ryosuke Kozuki said that hosting casinos will play an important role in helping realise the Prime Minister growth strategy of drawing 40 million tourists annually by 2020.

After the positive vote in the Upper House, the bill is expected to be sent to the Lower House, since a parliamentary rule establishes that any bill that passes with a low margin in the Upper House needs to be subject to scrutiny again by the lower chamber of the Diet.