Japan moves toward IR development as basic policy decided. At the meeting of the IR Promotion Headquarters, the Japanese Government finalised its Basic Policy for IRs, including criteria for the selection of up to three growth areas.
The final version of the long-awaited Basic Policy includes points relating to the principles of interaction between public servants and operators in the light of concerns regarding corruption.
At the IR Promotion Headquarters, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said, “[IR] is an important initiative in order for Japan to proceed as an advanced tourist nation. We are moving ahead with the necessary preparations.”
With the decision of the Basic Policy, the arrangements of local governments planning to tender will be in full swing, including the preparation of construction plans with operators. COVID-19, however is not slowing down in Japan, clouding the future of IR ideas. There is a specific focus in the Basic Policy on economic results and a close partnership with the region for all locations certified for IR growth.
Rules of contact between national and local officials and operators are required, such as that meetings are only permitted in government buildings when multiple personnel attend. Local governments and operators are also expected to take steps to avoid the spread of infection and to resolve gambling problems.
The national government had originally planned to decide on this Basic Policy in January of this year, but the combination of the 500.com corruption case and COVID-19 pandemic forced revision of the schedule. The original application period schedule was also postponed from 4 January to 30 July 2021 until 1 October 2021 to 28 April 2022.
As of now, four regions have officially expressed their intent to bid: Osaka prefecture/city, Yokohama city, Wakayama prefecture, Nagasaki prefecture.
[image: David Edelstein]