A Japanese opposition politician on Thursday submitted a set of demands to ruling party lawmakers who are proposing a bill to legalise casino gambling, Reuters reports. The move pushed back the parliamentary debate to next Wednesday at the earliest, the news agency added.
A fortnight ago, Japan’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, reached an agreement with the governing Liberal Democratic Party of Japan to start discussing the issue of legalising casino resorts still during the current session of the Diet, sources had told GGRAsia.
The discussion however would only be at Cabinet Committee level in the lower house of Japan’s parliament.
Pro-casino lawmakers had aimed to begin debate in the lower house this week, before the end of the regular parliament session on June 22. That would allow carrying the bill over into an expected session in the autumn when they would aim for its passage.
But Yosuke Kondo, a Democratic Party lawmaker, who is one of two senior directors in the lower house committee handling the bill, said he made demands to the ruling party that should be met before he will agree to allow debate to start.
Mr Kondo said his demands were aimed at ensuring the bill receives sufficient discussion, such as requiring the chief cabinet secretary and other key officials to be made available for debate.
“This is a very important piece of legislation. It needs to be discussed thoroughly,” Mr Kondo told Reuters, adding “it will be impossible to pass the bill this session”.
A draft plan to boost Japanese growth does not mention whether the government will push for legalising casino gambling in the country. Prime minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce his package of broad economic policies later this month, after the end of the regular parliament session.
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