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Japan moves forward with IR Process

GGRAsia reported progress on the integration resort (IR) scene in Japan, as The Japan Tourism Agency is being reshuffled to form the new International Tourism Department.

The Agency will report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and start with 73 people working under Hiroshi Tabata, its inaugural director. Two counsellors will be charged with splitting the very important responsibilities of organizing the IR industry and providing outreach and cooperation to international organizations.

Also, with Osaka holding aspirations to have its complex in operation by the time the city hosts the World Expo in 2025, two senior officials have been installed to lead the construction of the casino administration committee, following delays imposed earlier in the year. The pair will report directly to Japan’s cabinet office during the process of establishing the oversight authority, which is to ultimately spearhead regulation, safety and ethical guidelines of the market.

It’s expected that there will initially be three IR licenses issued in Japan. Yokohama has also seen a high level of interest and has at least ten suitors for an IR license, but recent polls might put the brakes on anything happening. According to reports, 97% of residents oppose the idea of a casino in their city.

The national government will soon announce which three locations could see a resort, after which those locations and casino partners will prepare their projects for approval. According to reports, Japanese nationals will be charged a 6,000 yen (€49) entrance fee for casinos and face limits on the number of visits, while foreign visitors will be able to enter free of charge.

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