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Revised Basic Policy draft released, Japan Tourism Agency to launch new public consultation period

The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has announced a renewed public consultation period following publication of a new Basic Policy draft on Friday.

The revised draft includes additions in three key areas, namely increased safety, health and hygiene measures relating to IR areas and facilities as a result of COVID-19, heightened problem gambling requirements for prefectures and new contact rules for national and prefectural staff in their dealings with operators. The latter inclusion follows the IR bribery scandal involving House of Representatives member Tsukasa Akimoto and Chinese online lottery firm 500.com.

Public comments had already been solicited for the IR Basic Policy last year, but the JTA wants to garner opinions from the general public regarding the revisions made in response to feedback from the Casino Regulatory Commission.

Comments will be accepted from 9 October until 7 November 2020.

Among the aforementioned additions are seven items related to meetings with operators requiring the involvement of multiple people and which must be held within a government building. They also require records of meetings to be taken and stored.

Many local governments hoping to make an IR bid have already set their own contact rules and this will ensure they strictly adhere to a national policy.

Japan’s central government last week confirmed a nine-month delay to the application period for locations and their operator partners from the original schedule of 4 January to 30 July 2021 to the new schedule of 1 October 2021 to 28 April 2022. The Basic Policy will be rushed to meet this schedule.

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