Govt to formulate addiction countermeasures plan by next April

    Last Friday the first meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gambling Addiction Countermeasures was held under the chairmanship of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. It was determined that the basic plan would be formulated and authorized by the Cabinet by next April.

    “The government will advance united initiatives,” Suga stated, “that will eliminate the cases in which individuals fall into unfortunate circumstances due to such matters as gambling addiction and build a healthy society. I want the concerned government agencies to work even more proactively than they have been up until now.”

    The Basic Law on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures was passed on July 6 by the ruling coalition and some opposition parties, but in its current state this legislation is little more than a statement of intention to grapple with the problem. Now the government is tasked with designing the actual policies.

    One opposition party criticism of the IR Implementation Act, also passed in July, is that it did not specify where the funding for gambling addiction countermeasures would come from.

    The target of April for deciding the government’s basic plan seems to be connected to the fact that the new legislation designates May 14-20 of each year as “Addiction Problems Public Awareness Week.”