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Pro-IR politicians offer assurances of legislative advance

On the same day that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally announced his decision to call for a snap election in October, the two senior politicians representing the pro-IR lawmakers’ league within the National Diet—Hiroyuki Hosoda and Takeshi Iwaya—offered assurances to international operators and businessmen that the IR Implementation Bill would move forward as soon as possible.

The two politicians spoke at the opening of a symposium in Tokyo called “The Whole Story about Japanese-Style IRs,” organized by Ohta Publications, which focuses on the hotel industry and related markets.

Hosoda, who is also the head of the ruling party’s largest faction (which includes the prime minister himself), told the audience, “If the LDP maintains a majority, we will move to enact a lawmaker-sponsored bill regarding gambling addiction, on the path toward passing the government’s IR bill. This is Prime Minister Abe’s intention.”

According to Iwaya, the government will have completed its draft of the IR Implementation Bill by the final week of October, and he hopes that it will be submitted to the Diet shortly thereafter.

“The Cabinet can submit a government bill anytime it chooses,” Iwaya explained, “even if the Diet isn’t yet in session, but lawmaker deliberations have to wait for the parliamentary debate schedule.”

Iwaya expressed his hope that the various political parties could come to a broad agreement on the terms of the legislation to combat gambling addiction, explaining that everyone accepted the need for such a bill, though there were still several competing versions with different policy details.

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