Katsusada Hirose (pictured in a file photo), the governor of Japan’s Oita prefecture, one of the Kyushu region’s local governments with an economic interest in having a casino resort in Nagasaki, says such a facility should promote the region’s natural beauty and cuisine, and educate visitors about those things.
Prefectural leaders in Kyushu have also been urged by Mr Hirose to help promote “excitement” for Nagasaki’s suggested scheme, as the project is expected to be pivotal for promoting tourism to the region. He made his comments during an online meeting of the Kyushu Regional Strategy Council on Wednesday.
The Kyushu Regional Strategy Council – an enlarged version of the Kyushu Governors’ Association – includes a number of representatives from the regional business sector.
The information about Wednesday’s meeting was provided to GGRAsia by Nagasaki prefecture.
A casino complex – or integrated resort (IR) – proposed for Sasebo city in Nagasaki, is seen by local leaders as having the potential to generate fresh regional income from inbound tourism once pandemic conditions ease, and to generate work and sales for local supporting industries.
Nagasaki’s tilt at hosting an IR had a “huge boost” from the launch of the Kyushu IR Council, said Mr Hirose, who is the chairman of the Kyushu Regional Strategy Council.
The Kyushu IR Council was announced in November and set up in April, and will be responsible for business-matching efforts between the anticipated operator of the Nagasaki IR and local companies in the Kyushu region, as well as to promote inbound tourism for the region.
The Kyushu IR Council is chaired by Yutaka Aso, a prominent businessman in the Kyushu region and brother of former Japan prime minister Taro Aso.
The body will soon be hosting its first seminar with local businesses, to provide them information on the economic effects of an IR, and what business opportunities the Nagasaki IR could bring to the region, according to information provided by Nagasaki’s prefectural government.
Kyushu’s regional authorities have also agreed to launch this summer the Kyushu Addiction Measures Network Council, a body designed to handle the various addiction issues within the region and promote cooperation on the topic, among the Kyushu prefectures. The initiative was agreed by the Kyushu Regional Strategy Council, Nagasaki prefecture noted.
The concept of “gambling addiction” has been a major theme of public-policy concern in Japan as it looks to create a homegrown casino industry.
Up to three IRs will be permitted in the nation under the framework established. Local governments must first choose a private-sector partner, and then apply to the national government for the right to have such a gaming resort.
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