Japan’s AML policies remain work in progress

Money laundering comes a close second to gambling addiction when it comes to reasons for opposing casinos in Japan, with local media stoking fears that the country’s organized crime gangs plan on using IRs to legitimize the proceeds from crime. In a pamphlet explaining why they are against casinos, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, in fact, listed money laundering first among its reasons. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, which emerged out of the October 22 general elections as the largest opposition political party, included an anti-casino stance as one of its formal election promises, explaining, “We are against the legalization of casinos, which will worsen public security by vastly widening the social costs of gambling addiction and by creating hotbeds for money laundering.” These opponents might be exaggerating the risks of money laundering at the anticipated Japanese IRs, but their concerns do not seem to be entirely misplaced. Japan is...

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