Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed fairness and transparency as the country decides where to build casino resorts, Jiji Press reports.
The Japanese news agency quoted Mr Abe as telling a committee of the House of Representatives in Tokyo: “It’s crucial to conduct screenings in a fair and unbiased manner, with transparency”.
The details of the selection process will be carefully considered, Mr Abe (pictured in a file photo) was quoted as saying. His comments were made on Friday.
The Japanese legislature is considering a bill to allow casino resorts, known as the Integrated Resorts (IR) Implementation Bill. The bill envisages the establishment of casino resorts in three locations. The parliament began debating the bill last month. It sets out how casinos are to be administered and regulated, the taxation regime and the number of licences to be issued.
Lawmakers from the two parties in the governing coalition are considering extending the current session of the parliament so it can pass the casino bill. The session is due to end on June 20.
The coalition partners – the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito – are worried they will have insufficient time to pass the bill.
Japan’s opposition parties do not want to hastily approve a regulatory framework without proper safeguards, such as measures to counter gambling addiction.
An anti-gambling addiction bill passed Japan’s lower parliamentary chamber – the House of Representatives – last month, and was sent to the upper house for further discussion and voting.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China