JAPAN LAND CASINO BILL PASSES IN THE DIET UPPER HOUSE (Update)
But due to revisions, it must now go back to the Lower House for ratification.
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, with a little help from political allies, succeeded in getting its land casino bill through the Upper House on the last business day of the extended Diet session Wednesday.
However, due to last minute problem gambling provision changes to bring some lawmakers on board, the bill will have to return to the Lower House, where it was approved on December 6, for ratification….and that could result in more obstacles being thrown in its path.
The bill has caused political polarization, with some opposition lawmakers claiming that the ruling party steamrollered the measure through committee and house votes in both chambers of the Diet despite determined opposition and at one stage a walk-out by the Democratic and Communist opposition parties.
Even in the Upper House the bill was contended as parties allowed a conscience vote and some members of the government coalition voted against the measure.
The bill allowing casino gambling in “integrated resorts” that include hotels and entertainment facilities is a first for Japan.
Wednesday's combative action started in the afternoon with a vote of censure introduced by the Democratic Party in an attempt to derail a vote on the bill. The Upper House plenary session went into recess but returned after the chamber's steering committee decided to allow the casino debate to resume, leading to a vote.
Earlier, the Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party submitted a no-confidence motion against the government's Cabinet in the Lower House (of Representatives) in an attempt to derail the bill, which by then was being described as a threat to the dignity of the legislature, with opposition lawmakers calling for it to be scrapped.