Abe Eager to Promote Casino Introduction despite Scandal


Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his eagerness on Wednesday to go ahead with the government's plan to introduce casino-featuring integrated resorts, or IRs, in Japan, despite a bribery scandal involving a former senior official.

At the House of Representatives plenary meeting, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano questioned Abe about the arrest last month of Lower House member Tsukasa Akimoto, former state minister of the Cabinet Office in charge of the IR policy, on bribery charges.

The leader of the main opposition party demanded that the government drop its IR introduction plan.

Abe said he takes the former state minister's arrest seriously, adding, however, that the government will "proceed sincerely" with the plan, "fully reflecting discussions" in the newly established casino management committee, as well as the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Edano also brought up publicly funded annual cherry blossom-viewing parties that many supporters of Abe, among celebrity and other guests, have attended in recent years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press