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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had reiterated his belief that opening up a casino industry in Japan could boost inbound tourism as the country finally looks to attract foreign tourists following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, Japan’s bicameral legislature opened the application window for three integrated resorts licences. Those cities and prefectures interested in developing an integrated resort have until 28 April 2022 to submit their final project proposals.

Currently, only three cities are expected to bid for licences: Nagasaki, Osaka and Wakayama. That means all three could win their bids.

Tetsuo Saito, Japan’s minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism has said the government will set up a panel of experts to review plans submitted by prefectures that want to host IRs. The panel will include consideration of economic benefit calculations, prospects for the financial stability of such schemes, and certainty of funding.

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