The lower house of Japan’s parliament took measures on Friday to carry over an anti-gambling addiction bill to the next session, expected to start in January, GGRAsia has learned.
Enactment of such a bill is widely reported as a necessary step before the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill – a further phase of the process to legalise casinos in the country – can be passed.
Japan’s governing coalition, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its partner Komeito, had resubmitted on December 1 – to the lower chamber, the House of Representatives – such a bill, Japanese newswire Jiji Press had reported. The so-called extraordinary session of parliament ended officially on Saturday (December 9). An earlier version of the gambling addiction bill had fallen because it had not been enacted before the end of the previous legislative session.
Jiji Press had also reported on December 1 that opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai, known in English as the Japan Restoration Party, had proposed a similar bill. According to GGRAsia’s correspondent, on December 6 another opposition group – the Constitutional Democratic Party – submitted yet another version of a anti-gambling addiction bill.
The government’s effort is referred to by some news outlets – based on a translation of the bill title that is mentioned in Japanese on the House of Representatives’ website – as the “Basic Bill on Gambling Addiction Countermeasures,” implying it is a framework to which more detail is to be added.
According to our correspondent, on December 5, Takeshi Iwaya, head of the LDP team in charge of drafting and guiding through parliament legislative measures related to establishing a casino industry in Japan, said it was hoped that the IR Implementation Bill – expected to set out the operational framework for the industry – could be introduced to parliament soon after the start of the new session, known as the ordinary session. Mr Iwaya added he expected the IR Implementation Bill to be submitted to the upper chamber of parliament – the House of Councillors – in March, 2018.
According to GGRAsia’s correspondent, the January to March part of the ordinary session of parliament is usually taken up with approving the nation’s annual budget. The period from April to June is spent discussing other parliamentary bills; including in likelihood – during the coming ordinary session – the gambling addiction bill and the IR Implementation Bill.
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"The President [Rodrigo Duterte] had already decided and announced that no construction of a casino on Boracay will be allowed”
Secretary Eduardo Año
Officer-in-charge at the Philippine Department of Local and Interior Government