Under the revised timeline, the national government is due to begin accepting IR licensing applications from local governments in October 2021. The chances that Yoshihide Suga will no longer be prime minister by that time are growing quickly.
The reactions of the various local governments to the nine-month delay in the national IR development timeline was instructive.
New Zealand’s main political parties are unlikely to change the gambling landscape post general elections that end on Saturday, although the picture may be different if the hard left Green Party becomes part of the government.
If it can be said that Yoshihide Suga’s emergence as prime minister of Japan is something of a poisoned chalice for Yokohama’s IR bid, for the leaders of Osaka, it is, in contrast, both uncomplicated and quite beneficial.
China’s threat to draw up a blacklist of countries targeting gambling is most likely directed at the online industry, though may be enough to deter some travellers even if the government doesn’t follow through with its action.
For the first time since the IR legislation was passed into law, Japan has a new prime minister. Fortunately for Japan’s pro-IR community, it is Yoshihide Suga.
Pro IR politician Yoshihide Suga has won his party’s nomination to succeed Shinzo Abe as prime minister of Japan.
“The casino issue is symbolic of the clear confrontational axis between top-down politics and grassroots politics… We cannot let matters continue as they have under the Abe administration.” So declared Leader of the Opposition Yukio Edano on Wednesday while touring Yamashita Pier, the proposed site for Yokohama’s major urban IR.
In the summer of 2017, Fumiko Hayashi won reelection as mayor of Yokohama claiming to be a “blank slate” but in reality favoring IR development in her city. Anti-casino activists believe that history may be repeating itself; this time with Governor Yuriko Koike in neighboring Tokyo.
The “Don of Yokohama” has made a big move, but it may take some weeks or months to determine exactly what it signifies.