Japan’s national government announced on Wednesday the names of the five people it wishes to see appointed to the soon-to-be established casino management commission, according to local media reports. The government proposed Michio Kitamura, a former inspector general of legal compliance at the country’s Defence Ministry, as head of the new body, reported Jiji Press news agency. Mr Kitamura, 67, had also served as Fukuoka High Prosecutor General.
It is likely that Japan’s casino management commission will be established on January 7, 2020, according to an ordinance adopted by the government in October.
Other nominees for the casino management commission mentioned in the report were: Hiroyuki Ujikane, former chief of the National Tax Agency’s Nagoya Regional Taxation Bureau; Michiko Watari, a psychiatrist; Noriko Endo, specially-appointed professor at the graduate school of Keio University; and Tateshi Higuchi, former superintendent general of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.
The country’s parliament, also known as the Diet, must confirm nominations before appointments can be made. The names were presented to both chambers of the Diet on Wednesday. The national government is reportedly hoping to complete the confirmation process during the parliament’s current session, scheduled to end on December 9. The people chosen will each serve a five-year term in office, according to October’s ordinance.
The casino management commission is to be in charge of security matters, probity and background checks. The body will oversee integrated resort (IR) operators in that country, as well as devise measures to counter gambling addiction.
Japan is to allow a maximum of three resorts in a first phase of market liberalisation. The national government has yet to announce the full version of its so-called basic policy on IRs, which is expected in the first quarter of 2020. It issued a draft version in September. The full policy is expected to clarify – among other things – the central authorities’ criteria for selecting what places should be allowed to have a casino resort.
Several prefectural governments and ordinance-designated cities in Japan have already shown interest in hosting a casino resort. A number of global casino operators has also flagged interest in bidding for a casino licence in Japan.
It was announced in July this year that the Japan Tourism Agency would be responsible for several matters related with the country’s nascent casino industry, including selecting candidate sites to host casino resorts.
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