TAIPEI (The China Post) — Eight areas in Japan are considering hosting integrated resorts with casinos, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Tuesday.
They are Hokkaido, Chiba city, Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, the group of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka city, Wakayama Prefecture and Nagasaki Prefecture, Akaba said at a press conference, citing the results of a survey conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency. A separate survey conducted by Jiji Press has found that the cities of Kawasaki and Hamamatsu are considering hosting casino resorts in addition to the eight areas.
Local governments that wish to host casino resorts are required to file for state approval of their development plans. The central government plans to permit casino construction at up to three locations. The agency will conduct interviews with officials from these eight areas to confirm the status of preparations.
Japan passed the controversial “integrated resorts promotion law” last year, hoping to kick off the new industry of the large-scale “integrated resorts” and allowing casinos. Furthermore, the law welcomes bids from global casino corporations to invest in Japan. According to Forbes, the global giant casino corporation Las Vegas Sands Corp. from Nevada, the U.S., announced in favor of investing in Yokohama or Tokyo to establish such resorts.
The mega-resorts facilities are expected to be completed by mid-2020. International tourists are free to enter the casino, while local residents will be charged with 6000 yuan (around $50 or NT$1700).
The Diplomat reported that the purpose of establishing such resorts is to prevent the possible economic retreat after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Integrated resorts are expected to benefit the economy with tax revenue, job opportunities, tourism expansion and regional revitalization. Singapore established two such resorts in 2010, and Japan is taking the successful economic model for consideration when planning the resorts.
By The Japan News (ANN) and Carol Kan