Opposition submits bill to nullify casino legalization

All four of Japan’s left-of-center political parties—the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Communist Party, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party— have jointly submitted a bill to the Diet that would nullify the IR Promotion Act, which the Abe administration forced through a year ago.

Akira Kasai, the policy chief of the Japan Communist Party, commented after the joint submission on Wednesday; “We must stop the casinos now, before they actually inflict any damage. Together we will gather all of our strength and work as one to abolish the casino law.”

The issue of the establishment of IRs in Japan has developed into a straight-up confrontation between the political right and the political left. Rightwingers and conservatives are basically united in supporting the establishment of casinos, while leftists and liberals strongly oppose it. There aren’t many exceptions to this general rule on either side.

Since the political right, especially the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, currently dominates the National Diet and the majority of local assemblies, any efforts by left-of-center parties, such as this one to abolish the IR Promotion Act, are rendered mainly symbolic.

Most observers believe that the Abe government will be able to enact both a gambling anti-addiction bill and the IR Implementation Bill by the end of the next Ordinary Diet Session around June 2018.

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