On November 29 of last year, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki announced that his prefecture would not be participating in the IR race, citing the several years it would take to complete environmental preparations at the Tomakomai site. However, parts of the Japanese media are reporting that, in fact, not only is Hokkaido actually still in the race, but that they are being sized up as one of the three eventual winners.
Makoto Nakagawa, the secretary-general of the Office of Integrated Resort Regime Promotion, effectively the chief IR bureaucrat of the central government, has announced to his friends in the gaming world that he is out, “completely retiring from my government duty for IR promotion.”
While Japan’s ruling party is trying to ignore the 500 Dot Com bribery scandal that has entangled five of its lawmakers, the Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party is taking the opposite tack, quickly expelling its bribe-receiving lawmaker and instituting new policies to distance themselves from future scandal.
Executives of the main opposition parties agreed on Wednesday to jointly submit legislation that would abolish the 2016 IR Promotion Act, an attempt to completely reverse the national policy of the past several years.
Despite the smouldering political scandal over the bribery of ruling party politicians, the Casino Regulatory Commission was established on Tuesday as scheduled.
Hard Rock Japan has announced the appointment of Akira Kurita, a very prominent figure on Japan’s IR scene, as its chief public affairs officer.
Japanese special prosecutor investigations of potential bribery by Shenzhen-based lottery firm 500 Dot Com have expanded to at least five additional lawmakers, including one of the most prominent pro-IR lawmakers in the nation, former Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, who has been a frequent speaker at IR promotion events.