Support in Japan for integrated resorts is unlikely to wane in the wake of the tragic assignation of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. If there is one tell-tale sign of why this is indeed the case, that is Sunday’s election results for Japan’s House of Councilors?
Lawmakers Win More Seats to Back IR
The Japan Restoration Party and the Liberal Democratic Party each won a seat in Komeito. Both parties are committed to upholding a course towards the realization of Abe’s original vision, which involves three new casino resorts in Japan that will open up the country for tourism, bolster its prefectures and bring in much tax revenue.
The elections were important because, in places such as Osaka, where the first integrated resort is very likely to happen, pending approval from the government, there needs to be strong political support to ensure that local opposition may not throw a spanner in the works.
So, after the elections on Sunday, the Liberal Democratic Party now controls 146 seats in the House of Councilors, which gives it the majority out of 248 seats. This means that the party has the opportunity to steer policies on a governmental level, and Abe’s vision will be safeguarded.
Osaka Opposition Valid and Worth Paying Attention To
Of course, Osaka’s local opposition is not without merit and it should be heard and considered. The Japan Restoration Party, a natural ally to the Liberal Democratic Party, though, is currently controlling the seats in the Osaka prefecture. This means that should it want to; the party may stop any efforts to open further investigations into concerns raised by locals.
The Osaka opposition group has been able to successfully rise the 2% of votes required to initiate a referendum that will ask locals if they indeed want to see an integrated resort built on the territory of the prefecture. However, there is no obligation for the local government to honor this measure and then send it to the central government for further consideration.
The recent election results only show that there are more people in support of the integrated resorts projects, at least on a governing level. Whether this is necessarily good news for Osaka is another matter altogether.