Taking the temperature of the casino debate

The Japanese language includes the idiomatic expression “ondosa,” which literally means “a difference in temperatures.” However, it often appears in newspapers to represent a situation in which various parties don’t quite see eye-to-eye—that they view a matter with disparate levels of support or commitment. When it comes to the legalization of casinos in Japan, there are vast temperature differences between the various interested parties. On the one hand, there is considerable enthusiasm for the Integrated Resorts Promotion Law within the Shinzo Abe administration, some local governments such as that of Osaka, and among potential foreign investors. On April 4, Prime Minister Abe himself launched the “Headquarters for the Promotion of Designated Zones for Integrated Resorts,” which is supposed to map out many of the details of the follow-up legislation expected to be passed into law this autumn. The government has yet to reveal substantial information about the precise shape of what...

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