Members of the Abe government and the ruling party confirmed to the Japanese media that no progress would be made on passing either the gambling addiction bill nor the IR Implementation Bill until next spring.
On September 28, the same day that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to open the extraordinary Diet session, he is expected to dissolve the body and trigger a general election to be held in late October.
An unnamed ruling party official commented, “Even if a truncated special Diet session is held after the general election, it won’t be possible to submit the legislation at that time.”
That means that both bills will have to wait at least until the 2018 Ordinary Diet Session, after the fiscal year budget is enacted. The earliest case scenario for passage of the IR Implementation Bill would now appear to be around next June.
Current polling and the various party policy positions do not suggest that anti-casino forces have any significant prospect of gaining the upper hand after the general election, in spite of the deep unpopularity of the IR legislation among the Japanese general public at large.