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Leading contender to replace Abe as Prime Minister says IR development “essential” for future of Japan

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who is running for the LDP in the Prime Ministerial election, stated his belief over the weekend that development of the nation’s first integrated resorts is “essential” to promote tourism to Japan.

Making an appearance on TV Kanagawa as part of his election campaign on Saturday, Suga said, “I believe that an IR is essential for our tourism promotion policy,” confirming his ongoing support for departing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies related to inbound tourism.

Abe announced on 28 August that he planned to resign due to his ongoing battle with aggravated ulcerous colitis.

Explaining his own viewpoint on IRs on Saturday, Suga said, “There tends to be a sole focus on the casino element, but the government is going to promote an IR that families can enjoy as an entertainment facility and hotel, and where visitors can bring their family for international conventions.”

Suga also told party members on Saturday, “We must stop the spread of COVID-19, protect the lives and livelihoods of the people and build a society that strikes a balance between health and economic activity.”

Suga, largely considered to be the frontrunner, is one of three candidates to replace Abe as Prime Minister. The other two are Fumio Kishida and Shigeru Ishiba.

The casting and counting of votes will be held next Monday 14 September at a joint plenary meeting of party members of both houses of the Diet.

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