At this point, Japanese legislators should just call a meeting, put in a vote and pass the country’s casino bill. Everybody seems to be on board with it, and that now includes some of the biggest business leaders in the country who have voiced their own support of the proposed legislation.
Two prominent individuals, Takeshii Niinami and Shingo Torii, are part of a group that’s backing the move to open the country to casinos. If you didn’t know those two names by now, an introduction is in order. Niinami is the CEO of Lawson, the country’s second largest convenience store chain while Torii is the executive vice president of Suntory Holdings, Japan’s third largest brewer.
So yeah, those two, in addition to various other business heads in the country, have a certain level of clout, and it’s that clout that has given legs to the growing momentum that a casino legalization bill could be introduced by lawmakers sooner than later.
It’s certainly looking like the passing of the bill is academic, at least if nothing unexpected happens and scuttles the ongoing discussion on how to proceed with the approval of the legislation. But seeing as some of the country’s top executives are also on board with the plan, it’s going to take something really incredibly unexpected for the country to scrap its intention to drop the current ban on casinos and welcome these operators with open arms.
Lord knows there’s a ton of interest from operators from all over the world. Some have even had preliminary discussions with potential host cities like Osaka. This latest evidence of business leaders forming a group to back the legalization of casinos in the country is yet another step in the direction of legalization.
In addition to Niinami and Torii, other corporate and academic leaders are expected to part of this organization, which will work closely with lawmakers in support of the bill, while also assisting in whatever capacity to make recommendations with local governments.
Hiroshi Mizohata, a former head of the Japan Tourism Agency, who is expected to be a member of the said organization told Bloomberg that a preliminary meeting is scheduled on Feb. 5 ahead of the organization’s expected formation in May. “Casino resorts in Japan will provide a spark for not just tourism, but also for the revitalization of local economies in the countryside,” Mizohata told the news agency.
“We want to get various stakeholders involved.”
Apparently, there’s no shortage of people willing to jump in and be part of it.