More than 70 percent of the respondents to a survey by Kyodo News agency want the Japanese government to “review” its plans to introduce casino resorts in the country. The media outlet conducted the survey over the weekend, following an emerging casino bribery scandal, including allegations against some lawmakers in relation to claims of casino lobbying by Chinese online gaming firm 500.com Ltd.
Kyodo reported on Sunday that the telephone survey showed that 70.6 percent of the respondents said Japan’s national government should “review” its plans to allow the opening of so-called integrated resorts or “IRs”, as large-scale, multi-use tourism complexes with casinos are known in Japan. Approximately 21.2 percent of the respondents said the plans “should progress without a review or any changes,” reported the media outlet.
The survey – according to Kyodo’s report – did not delve into detail regarding the type of review wanted by the respondents to the survey.
According to the report, the survey covered 737 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,225 mobile phone numbers. It obtained an aggregate of 1,035 valid responses, said Kyodo.
The findings of the survey were published as Japan’s national government has vowed to press ahead with IR-related tasks as scheduled, notwithstanding the casino bribery scandal.
Five members of Japan’s House of Representatives have been questioned – on a voluntary basis – by Japanese authorities for their alleged receipt of cash from people said to be linked to 500.com.
The allegations against the five lawmakers reportedly came to light as part of an investigation into another lower house lawmaker, Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested in late December for allegedly taking bribes from the Chinese firm in connection with lobbying linked to plans to develop a casino resort.
According to Kyodo, the survey also showed that public support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet rose by 6.6 percentage points compared to December, to 49.3 percent, while the disapproval rate stood at 36.7 percent, down 6.3 percentage points month-on-month.
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