Opinion polls in Japan continue to reflect general antipathy towards the notion of establishing IR in the country, with opponents outnumbering advocates by 2-to-1 or even 3-to-1 margins.

City officials of Tomakomai and Kushiro used the opportunity of the public hearing held in Sapporo on Friday to push for the establishment of an IR in Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

An estimated 900,000 people in Japan may be addicted to pachinko and pachinko slot machines, according to a national survey released on Thursday.

Seth Sulkin, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s task force on IRs, told Asia Gaming Brief in an exclusive interview that he does not believe any of the smaller regional cities in Japan will be able to put together an effective bid for an IR license.

The Nagasaki prefectural government used the occasion of the fourth public hearing on Tuesday to make a pitch for its own IR license.

Japan’s leading opposition Democratic Party is in the midst of a leadership race between two candidates who have outlined very different positions on the establishment of IRs within the country.

The Osaka prefectural and city governments used the public hearing held on Friday to lobby for business-friendly changes to casino regulation found in the proposed central government plan.

Public hearings on the IR Implementation Bill began on Thursday with the first event held in the Cabinet Office building complex in central Tokyo.

The Japanese government is in the process of revising the Civil Code in order to lower the age of adulthood from 20 to 18-years old. However, it has reportedly been decided that this change will not be applied to gambling.

The ruling coalition Komeito party remains divided over whether or not to support the forthcoming IR Implementation Bill, according to several reports in the Japanese news media.