Japan’s government is to submit the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill to parliament, in order to advance the country’s status as a “tourism-oriented” country, said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (pictured in a file photo) on Monday, in a speech to a plenary gathering of the body on the first day of the ordinary legislative session for 2018.
According to some confirmed data and estimates for October and November from the Japan National Tourism Organization, the average monthly year-on-year increase in the number of foreign visitors to Japan in the first 11 months of 2017 was 19 percent.
By convention, the first few months of each new ordinary session of Japan’s two-chamber parliament are taken up by debate on the national budget for that fiscal year.
However the governing coalition – formed by the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, and Komeito – is likely to start scrutinising the IR Implementation measure soon, with a view to sending it to the lower parliamentary body, the House of Representatives, in early March after cabinet approval, according to GGRAsia’s correspondent.
As a consequence it is likely to be April at the earliest, before the IR Implementation Bill is put to all the country’s lawmakers. The ordinary session of parliament is due to end on June 20, according to the House of Representatives’ website.
A range of commentators has said it is likely that before the IR Implementation Bill can be passed, an anti-gambling addiction measure known as the “Basic Bill on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures” will need to be steered through parliament.
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Director of the Department of Tourism of Russia's Primorsky provincial government