With the IR Implementation Bill having been rammed through the Cabinet Committee on Friday, June 15, it is now expected that it will be passed through a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 19, over the fierce objections of opposition parties.
Chairman Yukio Fujiki of the Yokohama Harbor Transport Association reiterated in an interview with the Mainichi Shinbun his strong opposition to the siting of an IR at Yamashita Pier. He also suggested that if the city government nevertheless will not be deterred in its desire to host a casino, then they should look to convert a local US military base instead.
Anti-casino lawyers argue that the controversial Article 85 of the IR Implementation Bill, which would allow operators to lend money to casino guests, is not simply a concern from the point of view of problem gambling, but may in fact be open to legal challenges in the future.
Opposition party leaders led by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan have continued to signal their fierce disapproval of the IR Implementation Bill, and they found a means to force a short delay in passage of the legislation through the House of Representatives.
Tetsuya Shiokawa, a seven-term House of Representatives lawmaker of the Japan Communist Party, has been arguing repeatedly that the Japanese government has changed the shape of the IR Implementation Bill to suit the preferences of powerful American businessmen—and he’s not pleased about it.
Five House of Representatives lawmakers from five separate opposition parties held a press conference within the Diet Building on June 12 in a last ditch attempt to prevent the passage of the IR Implementation Bill through the Lower House.
Article 85 of the IR Implementation Bill, which will allow operators to lend money to casino guests, is coming under particularly heavy criticism from opponents of the legislation, who fear that this system will exacerbate problem gambling and other social concerns.