Public hearings on IR implementation bill begin

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

This inaugural two-hour hearing was tightly controlled and reflected very little of the passion and controversy that exists over this issue among the public at large.

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii gave a very brief introduction at the start of the event before retiring from the room. There were apparently no other politicians in attendance at the hearing, which was conducted by a handful of central government bureaucrats.

All questions were fielded by Makoto Nakagawa, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion. Nakagawa appeared to be in full command of the material, not referring to notes as he gave his specific answers.

About 15 individual members of the general public and those representing private interests were given an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. Some were opponents of the IR legislation, but a larger number were concerned with learning further details about the implementation of the IR project.

Very little new information emerged from the hearing. Most requests for policy details not already included in the Experts’ Report were answered by some variation on “that is now being studied.”

Immediately after the event, AGB asked one of the Japanese participants his opinion of the hearing. He expressed disappointment, commenting that it seemed to him that everything had already been decided by the government and that the hearing was little more than a formality.

Eight more public hearings are scheduled to be held around the country, concluding on August 29. It is not clear whether or not the regional events will become more contentious than the low-energy inaugural hearing in Tokyo.

More news from this jurisdiction

JapanThursday, Mar 22, 2018

The Japanese government leaked to the media on Thursday that operators are likely to be required to report any casino chip-cash exchanges that exceed 1 million yen (about US$9,500).

JapanWednesday, Mar 21, 2018

The Japan Gaming Congress expects to attract even greater support in 2018 after holding the largest event of its kind in Japan last year, organizer Clarion Gaming says.

South Korea, Mainland China, JapanTuesday, Mar 20, 2018

Mobile games are likely to grow by more than 8 percent per year through 2020, far outstripping growth for the PC and consoles, according to Daniel Kashti, chief marketing & commercial officer of Kama Games.

South Korea, Greater China, JapanTuesday, Mar 20, 2018

eSports global revenue for 2017 was estimated to be US$696 million and is expected to more than double to US$1.5 billion by 2020, with the Asia Pacific heading growth, according to Newzoo, a market intelligence firm.

JapanSunday, Mar 18, 2018

According to a local media report, the Tomakomai municipal authorities have compiled their interim report on the IR they hope to build, projecting a US$2-3 billion investment by the time the facility’s doors open.

JapanFriday, Mar 16, 2018

The IR implementation bill won’t be submitted to the legislation this month, as had been planned, throwing doubt over the timetable for the bill.

JapanWednesday, Mar 14, 2018

Six local medical and children’s organizations have presented a petition to the local government opposing any IR bid from within the prefecture.