Prefecture: Tokyo Metropolitan District
Population (Prefectural): 13.9 million
GDP (Prefectural): 104.3 trillion yen
Candidate Site: Tsukiji or Odaiba
Main IR Assets: No one doubts that an IR placed within the heart of the largest urban area in the world, with over 43 million people living in the region, would have little difficulty drawing masses of visitors so long as the facilities were reasonably attractive.
Key Proponent: Various elements of the business community and some local politicians
Family Name: Koike
Given Name: Yuriko
Party: Tokyoites First
Role: Governor of Tokyo
IR Stance: Unclear
Profile: Koike was already one of Japan's best known politicians before her dramatic campaign to become governor of Tokyo in 2016. She had previously served as minister of the environment and, briefly, as defense minister. Before she began her political career in 1992, she was a popular newscaster. She is also noted for having attended Cairo University and having worked for a time as an Arabic-Japanese interpreter.
Family Name: Ishihara
Given Name: Shintaro
Role: Former Governor of Tokyo
IR Stance: Advocate
Profile: One of Japan's best-known rightwing politicians, the height of Ishihara's career was his tenure as governor of Tokyo from 1999-2012. In the early years of his governorship, Ishihara effectively launched the casino legalization movement in Japan with his proposal to build a casino along the Tokyo waterfront. His efforts to get national politicians to act on his initiative, however, did not produce any rapid success.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced a series of consultations with private companies over its tentatively-named “Tokyo Bay Area Vision,” which explicitly includes the possibility of an IR bid for the Aomi area of Odaiba.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike continues to send mixed signals on whether or not she intends to declare an IR bid for the Japanese capital, with observers on all sides trying to guess her intentions.
Police continue to announce busts related to illegal casinos in major cities across the country, with two fresh busts in Nagoya and the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo coming just this week, netting a total of four arrests.
Police continue to take down illegal internet casinos across the nation, with the latest round including the bust of one casino in the Ueno district of Tokyo and another in the Yodogawa Ward of Osaka.
Tokyo cops busted an illegal casino in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo that gathered a significant proportion of its patrons visiting from mainland China, and in fact regularly served members of a gang called “Chinese Dragon.”
Las Vegas Sands’ Managing Director for Global Development George Tanasijevich has offered the clearest statement yet that his firm is now following MGM Resorts in pursuing an “Osaka First” strategy.
Despite Governor Yuriko Koike’s indication in January that she isn’t considering an IR bid for the former Tsukiji Fish Market site, numerous observers believe that such a bid is indeed quietly under consideration, either at Tsukiji or on Odaiba.
This past weekend saw two separate police raids against illegal internet casinos in Tokyo and Nagoya, the latest in an ongoing series of such legal actions in major Japanese cities. The two raids occurred within a three-hour period.
Backed by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the Tokyo Medical Association, the "No Smoking Promotion Business Consortium” was launched on Thursday as the latest effort to bring Japan’s public policies on smoking in line with most other advanced nations.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided on Friday to adopt the proposed plan for the redevelopment of the former Tsukiji fish market as an entertainment area hosting an international conference center. The initial proposals were revised, however, by emphasizing that “food culture” would be a major theme of the redevelopment.
Las Vegas Sands would apparently like to build the largest IR in Japan, but they are currently unsure whether that entails focusing on the more certain prospect of Osaka, or else waiting for the possible emergence of Tokyo or Yokohama.
A 45-year-old bar manager was arrested in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward for conducting a private gambling ring for his customers.
Flexing the muscles of the partnership signed last November with Major League Baseball, the MGM logo will be given prominent billing at the regular season opener between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners at Tokyo Dome on March 20 and 21.
The chances that Tokyo will be a bidder for the three IR licenses in the first round looks highly remote after the metropolitan government unveiled additional details about its Tsukiji development plan on Wednesday.
On the 13th, Tokyo police raided an illegal online casino shop named “Hose” in the Minami-Koiwa district, arresting the manager, Daisuke Kashiwagi, 39, and seven other people.
Plans for the post-Olympics development of the former site of the Tsukiji Fish Market are sounding increasingly like an IR, though whether or not a casino would be part of the plan remains to be seen.
The Grand Final of the Japan Open Poker Tour’s 15th Season concluded on Monday at Bagus Place in Ginza, Tokyo.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has announced that 50 million yen (about US$460,000) in public funds is being budgeted in FY2019 for a major two-day eSports event in Tokyo. Both the venue and the date of the event remains to be decided.
Former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, the man who launched the casino legalization movement in Japan almost twenty years ago with his Tokyo waterfront casino concept, no longer believes that Japan’s capital city needs such a development.
Tokyo police have arrested a man whom they say is the developer of the “digital casino” found at an illegal casino in Kabukicho in late October.
Within the past week, police have announced busts of two more illegal casinos in the Kabukicho district of Tokyo, including the nation’s first case of a “digital casino” bust.
Deloitte Tohmatsu has won the contract from the Bureau of Port and Harbor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to research the economic and social impacts of building an IR in Japan’s capital city.
Tokyo police announced that they have arrested five suspects for a violent invasion of an illegal online casino store in the Kinshicho district of Tokyo.
The Bureau of Port and Harbor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced a public tender for an advisory firm to research the economic and social impacts of building an IR in Japan’s capital city.
In a development that has potential to reshape the IR race in Japan, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike indicates that she is willing to consider an IR bid for the Japanese metropolis.
Tokyo police have announced the bust of a second illegal casino operation in Kabukicho, this time a significantly larger operation involving two shops supplied with about 40 slot machines and a number of baccarat tables. The most recent bust includes the arrest of 28 people, including managers, staff, and some customers.
Tokyo police have arrested two people in connection with an illegal internet casino that had been operating in the basement of a building in Kabukicho for the past two months.