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Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 14:30 - 15:30

A leading supporter and opponent of casino legalization debate the merits

Takashi Kiso, CEO, International Casino institute

Yoichi Torihata, Professor of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Shizuoka University

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.

Since Japan's parliament approved a bill in December to legalize domestic casinos, international gambling operators have descended looking for licenses and local partners while Yokohama, Osaka, Nagasaki and other entities emerged as potential candidates to host so-called "integrated resorts (IRs)" equipped with casinos.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that IRs can further spur tourism as a new engine of economic growth since his reflationary policies missed their targets. But, according to polls, a majority of the Japanese remain opposed to casinos, which can further fuel addiction to gambling when an estimated 5.4 million people in Japan are already pathologically hooked on ubiquitous "pachinko" pinball machines and other types of gambling. Police fear casinos will benefit organized crime and money launderers. Even some pro-government conservative dailies and Komeito, the Buddhist-backed junior partner in Abe's ruling coalition, sound a cautious note on the casino law.

As the government is tasked to work out another bill by the end of this year, setting down measures and regulations concerning IRs, the FCCJ is inviting a leading supporter and opponent of casino legalization to spar against each other as they have done online.

Takashi Kiso, who heads the International Casino Institute, a consultancy focused on the gaming, entertainment and leisure industry, touts the casino as the "most efficient tourism product" for a community to attract funds from outside and profit itself. Shizuoka University economics professor Yoichi Torihata warns casinos will ruin other businesses nearby, inhibit "sound and self-sustaining economic growth" in their areas, expose local people to the risk of gambling addiction and encourage an outflow of money from Japan by foreign casino operators.

Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee



 Takashi Kiso                               Yoichi Torihata

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