Tetsuo Saito, freshly appointed as Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, said in a Tuesday briefing he had been given the job of sticking to the country’s target of 60 million inbound visitors by the year 2030, and that the casino resort policy was a key part of the plan.
In Japan, large scale tourism complexes with a casino, meeting space and hotels are known as integrated resorts (IRs).
Mr Saito said the country’s new Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, who took office on Monday, had specifically given him the instruction on the tourism target. That is according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
“To meet the target, the government as a whole will make every effort. Especially, it is putting importance on the measures to expand average spending per visitor and to extend the length of stay per visit,” said Mr Saito.
“As one of those measures, the IR policy is important,” in order “to become a tourism-oriented country,” added the minister, who is a member of Komeito, the junior coalition partner at national level to the Liberal Democratic Party.
On October 1, the Japanese government opened the application period for local authorities to pitch as host for a casino resort, and announced the weighting it will give when scoring such requests.
Under the liberalisation programme, up to three resorts will be permitted nationally. Currently, only three local communities are in the running for respectively hosting a large-scale integrated resort. They are: Osaka, Nagasaki, and Wakayama.
The earliest opening dates currently being mentioned for such venues are the end of the 2020s.
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