The “consensus building process” is the “main challenge” the Japanese Government will have to face during the public hearing it is conducting this month concerning the regulation of Integrated Resorts in the country, according to Toru Mihara, an advisor to Japan’s government on the liberalisation and Professor at Osaka University of Commerce.
Speaking to Business Daily, Mihara claimed that, for one, the government still has to agree on “some core options” with Congress.
“How to secure consensus with major stakeholders – namely, local governments and investors – is also a hurdle to surmount. Not everything has been fixed, [and has] yet to be debated in more depth,” he explained.
From August 17 to 29, a special government committee overseeing the gaming regulatory process will hold hearings in nine cities in Japan – Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Sendai, Sapporo, Nagoya, Toyama, and Takamatsu – to present the framework for the proposed Integrated Resort Promotion Bill, according to media reports on Wednesday.
The committee will address the task of explaining to the Japanese population the ways Integrated Resorts (IR) will operate in practice, strategies to address gambling problems and countering money laundering, while seeking feedback on policies.
Since plans for the liberalisation were announced on December 14, 2016 the government has met with popular unease.
Back than, a survey found that 44 per cent of Japan’s citizens opposed the legalisation of broad-based casino gambling, reported.
Yet Mihara says the overall popular feeling has “yet to be verified.”
“People in general don’t know anything about gambling regulations. Feelings may change depending upon how you explain, persuade, and present merits and demerits,” he told Business Daily.
In what regards the recent allegations against Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, of illegal campaign contributions, the advisor and professor claimed it will not impact preparation of the bill.
‘It’s the government’s task to prepare an implementation bill and this has nothing to do with the political scandal. Creating a legal framework for IR is state policy which will not change,’ he concluded.
The upper House of the Japanese Parliament, the Diet, will discuss the details of the bill this Autumn based upon the report released earlier this week and the ensuing public hearing consultation. It is expected to finalise the bill by the end of 2017, Japan Times reported.