Shinzo Abe

    Shinzō Abe is the current Prime Minister of Japan, re-elected to the position in December 2012. Abe is also the President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

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    Abe resignation may put Japan IR development in limbo

    The resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to be another political blow to an already shaky process of developing up to three IRs in Japan. On the one hand, all the necessary enabling legislation is already in place, and since January the Casino Regulatory Commission has been up and running. However, the national […]

    Shinzo Abe: IRs to assist post-Covid tourism recovery

    In the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe effectively reasserted his government’s intention to move forward with IR development, suggesting that it even had a role to play in reviving the tourism industry after the Covid-19 crisis. “Tourism is once again recovering,” the prime minister said, “IRs will support our efforts to […]

    Japan lifts state of emergency in remaining prefectures

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put an end to the country’s state of emergency, lifting the order for Tokyo and its surrounding areas and Hokkaido on Monday, local media reports.  “Today the government will lift the state of emergency across the nation. We’ve set some of the most strict criteria in the world to […]
    Shinzo Abe

    Japan in denial over IR development strategy

    Whatever hand wringing may be taking place in private, the Shinzo Abe government’s IR strategy remains one of publicly pretending that all is well, that the ship is still on course, and it’s full speed ahead. We’ve seen this approach from the Abe government before, and one doesn’t need to reach back very far into […]

    New polls underline unpopularity of casino legalization

    A series of new public opinion polls confirm that despite the ruling party passing the IR Implementation Act through the Diet, they essentially convinced no part of the general public that this policy was a good idea or that it should have been done.

    Operators hail passage of IR Implementation Act

    Two major US operators, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts, delivered press releases hailing the passage of the IR Implementation Act shortly after it occurred on Friday night. George Tanasijevich, Las Vegas Sands’ managing director of global development, said: “Las Vegas Sands would like to extend our congratulations to the people of Japan for the […]

    Political challenges loom after passage of IR Implementation Act

    The Japanese government is on the brink of passing the IR Implementation Act, though the bill remains deeply unpopular with the majority of the population and sooner or later this will have practical consequences for the industry. The passage of the act represents the culmination of almost two decades of lobbying efforts by the advocates […]

    Japan newspaper touts Trump conspiracy theory

    The evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai, a stalwart of train station kiosks with a daily circulation said to be in excess of 1.6 million, spelled out in a recent article the conspiracy theory regarding US President Donald Trump and the establishment of IRs in Japan that seems to have exercised a degree of influence over the national political debate.
    Japan Diet Session

    IR Bill expected to pass House of Representatives on June 14

    According to Japanese media reports, the ruling party intends to pass the IR Implementation Bill through the Cabinet Committee on June 13 and through a plenary session of the House of Representatives on the following day, June 14. Originally, the ruling had considered passing the bill last Friday, June 8, but refrained from doing so, […]

    Abe scandal flares up again as IR debate commences

    The long-awaited parliamentary debate on the IR Implementation Bill began Tuesday in a plenary session of the House of Representatives, but on the very eve of its commencement a revelation regarding one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s swirling scandals shook the government anew.

    Hopes for early IR bill passage fade

    Hopes that the IR Implementation Bill will be passed before the June 20 end of the Ordinary Diet Session are quickly fading as the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is prioritizing its controversial labor policy bill and other matters, including the stalled gambling anti-addiction bill. It has now been decided that the government will […]

    Abe government shaken by scandal

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is coming off of a very bad week and this week could potentially be even worse. While it still seems highly likely that the IR Implementation Bill will be passed in the current Diet session, the possibility that scandal could suddenly bring down the Abe government can no longer be entirely […]

    Abe government putting priority on IR Implementation Bill

    Spokesmen for the Abe government are signaling that passage of the IR Implementation Bill is near the very top of its priorities for the Ordinary Diet Session beginning on January 22. It has been reported that the legislation will be introduced to the Diet even before the national budget is enacted. Perhaps, then, they may […]

    Opposition submits bill to nullify casino legalization

    All four of Japan’s left-of-center political parties—the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Communist Party, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party— have jointly submitted a bill to the Diet that would nullify the IR Promotion Act, which the Abe administration forced through a year ago. Akira Kasai, the policy chief of the […]

    Osaka business leader pushes for IR legislation

    Masayoshi Matsumoto, chairman of the Kansai Economic Federation, publicly expressed his pleasure over the landslide electoral victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling coalition, adding, “I would now like the government to realize its bid for the 2025 World Expo as well as the enactment of the IR Implementation Bill in order to […]

    Ruling Party cruising to electoral victory

    Japan’s general election will not be held until next Sunday, October 22, but the implosion of the leading opposition party virtually guarantees another lopsided win for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, with the only real question being the scale of the victory. For a brief period about ten days ago, it appeared that Tokyo Governor […]

    Ruling Party confirms IR bill delay

    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 […]

    Gambling age maintained at 20

    The Japanese government is in the process of revising the Civil Code in order to lower the age of adulthood from 20 to 18 years old. However, it has reportedly been decided that this change will not be applied to gambling, meaning the 18- and 19-year-olds will continue to be legally barred from horse racing, […]

    IR bill delay could be positive for pachinko

    The outcome of Tokyo’s local elections on Sunday is likely negative for IRs, but could be a relief for Japan’s pachinko industry, says Union Gaming. On Sunday, as part of an election for the prefecture-level parliament of Tokyo, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost nearly two-thirds of its seats in the 127-member assembly, from 60 […]

    Government seeks strict casino entry controls

    At Tuesday’s meeting of the Experts’ Committee advising the Japanese government on its IR Implementation Bill, a series of measures were proposed to keep a very tight regulatory lid on casino facilities. Under the proposal, Japan residents would be required to use the new national identity card, MyNumber, in order to gain entry into the […]

    IR bill taking shape, pachinko not seen in firing line

    Japan’s government is unlikely to table a bill to restrict horse racing or its pachinko industry in tandem with regulation to introduce casinos into the country, Union Gaming said in a note. The firm was responding to media speculation that the government would introduce new measures to be seen to be responding to problem gambling. […]

    Task force to begin mapping casino rules

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday officially kicked off the inaugural meeting of the government task force aimed at mapping out casino regulations in the country, local media reports. “The world’s highest standards of casino regulations will be introduced, and policies to deal with issues like gambling addiction will be addressed,” Abe said during the […]

    Japan likely to adopt Singapore-style legislation, Fitch says

    Japan is likely to adopt gaming regulations that are similar to Singapore, with limited license and an entrance fee for locals, Fitch Ratings says in a report. The structure of the legislation is likely to limit licenses in a major city, but may include multiple smaller satellite licenses, it said, adding Osaka and Tokyo are […]

    Japan enacts casino bill, MGM to step up prep work

    Japan has finally passed a bill setting the framework for legal casinos in what is expected to become Asia’s second-biggest gaming market after Macau. After a long day of political machinations, and a very short debate in the plenary session, the House of Representatives enacted the Casino Bill shortly before 1:30 am on December 15. […]

    Japan casino bill set for enactment after clearing Upper House

    Japan’s casino bill now looks certain to pass into law after an upper house committee approved the bill, despite opposition from anti-gambling factions. On Tuesday, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party offered to make some revisions in the Casino Bill to address some of the concerns of the Democratic Party, and Chairman Shoji Namba agreed to […]

    Casino bill heads to Upper House Committee, concerns still afoot

    Japan’s Casino Bill was sent to the Upper House Cabinet Affairs Committee on Wednesday, as scheduled, where deliberations on the long-awaited bill have begun. While there is no absolute certainty what may happen, the contentious casino bill is not without its opposition. Speaking to AGB, Michael Penn of Shingetsu News Agency said Prime Minister Abe […]

    Lower House panel clears Japan casino bill; majority of public oppose

    A Lower House committee passed Japan’s framework bill to legalize casinos, potentially paving the way for the legislation to be passed in the actual house next week, Japanese media reported. The move to pass the bill was backed by the Ruling Liberal Democratic Party and conservative opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai. Members of the opposition […]

    Japan’s LDP poised to push casino bill

    Japan’s ruling party appears poised to re-submit the Bill for the Promotion of Integrated Resort Facilities, better known as the “Casino Bill,” to the current Diet session, which ends in late November. If the bill is indeed submitted and passed, it would legalize the establishment of a handful of casinos in Japan in the coming […]

    Japan gets another chance to push casinos

    A Japanese parliamentary committee is due to meet in Tokyo this Friday to set out the legislative agenda for the extraordinary Diet session that begins later this month. Among the potential agenda is the proposal to legalize casinos in Japan, according to the Financial Times reports. The so-called integrated resort promotion bill, which would push […]

    Japan back on the cards: Union Gaming

    Gaming legislation in Japan has become more likely due to a change in the political landscape, warranting casino operators to “step up” their efforts, says Union Gaming. In a note from the brokerage on Thursday, as Abe’s LDP now holds outright majority in both houses of the legislature, this means the party can now push […]

    30-member team behind Japan Casino Bill at METI to be disbanded

    The 30-member team in charge of Japan’s Casino Bill from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will soon be disbanded and their dedicated office shut down, according to Japanese-language major daily newspaper. This effectively signals the Abe government has given up on the idea of casinos for now, and is not likely to prepare […]

    Japan’s casino bill dropped in current session

    Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has given up efforts to push through a bill to legalize casinos in the current extended session of the parliament, the Shingetsu News Agency reports. The decision was made to sacrifice the bill in order to be able to push through other unpopular bills, such as Legislation for Peace and […]

    AGA receives Shinzo Abe in Washington

    The American Gaming Association welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and members of the Diet to Washington as part of the AGA’s bid to play a leading role in informing Japanese lawmakers on the potential of opening up its casino industry. The AGA hosted a briefing for the Diet members on the weekend, and plans […]

    Japan lawmakers re-submit casino bill

    Japanese lawmakers have reportedly re-submitted a bill that would set the framework for legalizing casinos in the country, though timetable for passage remains unclear. The bill was expected to pass in 2014, though it faced repeated delays amidst opposition from politicians concerned about the impact on problem gambling. Chances of passage last year were dealt a […]

    UBS predicts no H1 passage of Japan casino bill

    Japan, under newly re-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, may entertain discussions on legalizing casinos, but won’t pass the bill in the Jan-June session of parliament, according to investment firm UBS in its top predictions for 2015. The firm echoes the view from other analysts that the bill won’t be passed until late in the year […]

    Japan Gaming Congress lays groundwork for IRs

    Excitement over the prospects for IR development in Japan was palpable at the just-concluded Japan Gaming Congress. Held at a major hotel in central Tokyo, it drew in a capacity crowd of 450 people, mixing international operators with local Japanese businesses and others who hope to become stakeholders in what is predicted to become a multi-billion dollar industry. More than half a dozen Japanese lawmakers spoke on the opening day of the two-day conference, including Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda, a close aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Taking the temperature of the casino debate

    The Japanese language includes the idiomatic expression “ondosa,” which literally means “a difference in temperatures.” However, it often appears in newspapers to represent a situation in which various parties don’t quite see eye-to-eye—that they view a matter with disparate levels of support or commitment. When it comes to the legalization of casinos in Japan, there are vast temperature differences between the various interested parties. And amongst the public feelings are still running high against IRs. Proponents say more and better education is needed.

    Japan’s casino debate goes local

    The passage of Japan’s Casino Bill into law in the early morning hours of December 15, 2016, was achieved only after a bruising political struggle. The administration of Shinzo Abe had waited too long into the Extraordinary Diet Session to begin the deliberations on the bill and thus was forced to steamroll over the opposition parties in a clumsy, ad hoc fashion. However, after  

    Political Resistance to Japan Casino Bill Remains Strong

    The roller coaster ride of efforts to open Japan’s casino market continues, with politicians keeping the industry on tenterhooks as to whether or not legislation will be passed in the current session of the Diet. Although some observers had believed that this session represented the best opportunity to move forward with discussions on the Bill for the Promotion of Integrated Resort Facilities, better known as the “Casino Bill,” the parliamentary deliberations have been repeatedly delayed and the time window for the bill’s passage has narrowed sharply. 

    IRs not a one size fits all model for Asia

    Integrated resorts have become a buzzword in the gaming industry, with investors and governments around Asia looking to the model as they prepare plans for new markets and properties. However, as gambling revenue in Asia's biggest resorts declines is the IR model the right formula for success?

    Japan Casino Bill held up by gambling addiction concerns

    In a quiet neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan, about twenty senior citizens gather each day in a facility called Day Service Las Vegas. For hours on end they play at card games, mahjong, slot machines, and pachinko. At first glance this may look like an illicit casino patronized exclusively by the elderly, but on closer inspection the 10,000 yen bills that change hands are not Japanese currency at all, but rather the equivalent of Monopoly money. Although this may seem like innocent fun, in Japan even this pastime is viewed as controversial amid concern over problem gambling. 

    Japan’s Casino Bill champions in political decline

    The most powerful voices in Japan’s political world, who have been championing the so-called Casino Bill, have suffered reverses that seem to have dimmed the prospects for passage of the legislation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lost political capital pushing through deeply unpopular security legislation, while regional advocates of casinos in their cities have also lost power.