Government nominates Casino Management Board members

The Japanese government on Wednesday nominated five candidates to serve on the Casino Management Board, the independent agency to be established on January 7, 2020, with a mandate to regulate Japan’s casino industry.

Michio Kitamura, a former inspector general of legal compliance at the Defense Ministry, has been nominated to chair the five-person committee.

The other four nominees are Hiroyuki Ujikane, former chief of the National Tax Agency’s Nagoya Regional Taxation Bureau; Michiko Watari, a psychiatrist; Noriko Endo, professor of risk governance at the graduate school of Keio University; and Tateshi Higuchi, a former superintendent general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

These nominees must be approved by both chambers of the Diet, with the current session scheduled to run until December 9. Opposition parties, which remain strongly opposed to casino legalization, are expected to scrutinize the nominees carefully.

If approved, the nominees are expected to serve five-year terms on the board.

The Casino Management Board will become an independent agency under the auspices of the Cabinet Office, and it will have two divisions, one focused on supervision of IR operators and the other dedicated to public policy on gambling addiction. The total staff is expected to be about one hundred people.