Japan to announce fourth state of emergency
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is poised to announce the nation’s fourth Covid state of emergency, just two weeks before the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics are set to begin.
As with the previous state of emergency, this one will include a ban on restaurants and bars in the affected prefectures from serving alcohol to their patrons, as well as mandates to shut all businesses in the early evening.
New case numbers have begun to rise in Japan with the arrival of the more infectious Delta Variant of the coronavirus.
For the gaming industry in Japan, the biggest impact is expected to fall on the pachinko industry and the various forms of racing. Broadly, it also further encourages the shift toward digital forms of entertainment, including online betting.
The prime minister is expected to announce that the new state of emergency will run for the entire period of the Olympics through to August 22.
Coincidentally, that is also the date of the crucial Yokohama mayoral elections, and there have been two fresh developments in that race.
First, it has been clarified that incumbent Mayor Fumiko Hayashi intends to announce her candidacy on July 15, but after a series of events in which members of the local business community will publicly appeal for her to run in order to save the IR development project.
Second, a ninth candidate has appeared, the well-known former prosecutor Nobuo Gohara. He has outlined some rather odd proposals, however. First, he has declared that he opposes IR development, but would hold a public referendum on the matter to make the final decision. Second, even as he announced his candidacy, he stated that anti-casino forces need to consolidate their forces, suggesting that he might later withdraw from the race, depending on discussions with candidate Takeharu Yamanaka, the university professor backed by the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.
Down south, pro-IR forces in Nagasaki remain active.
The Kyushu-Nagasaki International Tourism Human Resource Development Consortium (Preparatory Committee) will be holding its second seminar on July 31 for local stakeholders in the tourism, hospitality, and education sectors. The seminar will be held online and will be in Japanese.
There are also new organizations being created.
The Kyushu-Nagasaki IR Safety and Security Network Council (Preparatory Committee) held their first official meeting on June 30, discussing addiction measures and public safety in regards to the prospective IR. The council members include representatives from Nagasaki University Hospital, PTA groups, local districts, and the Nagasaki Prefectural Police.
The Kyushu Regional Addiction Countermeasure Network Council is planned to be established this summer.
Finally, it has been noted that Yutaka Aso, brother of Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, has stepped down as chairman of Kyushu IR Council and has now been given the post of special adviser. This is related to the fact that last month Aso completed his term chairman of Kyushu Economic Federation, one of the major constituent organizations supporting the council.
The new chairman of both organizations is Sumio Kuratomi, who also serves as chairman of the Nishi-Nippon Railroad Company.