Shinzo Abe’s Resignation Not to Affect IR Initiative in Japan

Despite Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s departure from politics, the integrated resort project should continue as planned, officials from the Osaka prefecture have said.

Osaka Remains Predicts Integrated Resorts to Come despite Abe’s Absence

The mayor of Osaka and the governor of Osaka have responded to the news that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is stepping down with a mix of optimism and positive sentiments. Despite the change in office, however, the officials believe that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) should remain in the center of managing the integrated resorts (IRs) realization.

Furthermore, the officials believe that Mr. Abe’s resignation should have no bearing on the prospects of building an integrated resort due to arrive in 2025. Osaka has been at the forefront of all government processes in selecting a prefecture to host the first casino project.

Mr. Abe’s legacy will be taken up not by politicians but rather by prefectures and officials who are interested in developing tourism in their respective regions. The introduction of multi-billion integrated resort project worth some $12 billion would be able to boost the economy as well as create thousands of local jobs.

Both Mayor Ichiro Matsui and Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura have reaffirmed Osaka’s commitment to the realization of the project despite Mr. Abe’s withdrawal from the political scene. Even though Mrrs Matsui and Yoshimura are from a different party, they believe in continuing the integrated resort initiative.

With Mr. Abe’s exiting, all the cogwheels have already been set in motion for the IR initiative to carry on and not rely on one central figure. If anything, the IR Implementation Act is already passed, meaning the government has begun the processes necessary to select a prefecture which will host the first of three planned gaming facilities.

No Upsets in Integrated Resorts Expected

An upset may come during the national election on October 2021, but most observers agree that any successor would not try to stop the IR project as it would cost too dearly to the economy, not to mention the lack of economic windfall.

The current official to take Mr. Abe’s post is Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary in Mr. Abe’s government. As a supporter of Mr. Abe’s, Mr. Suga is expected to continue with the implementation of the integrated resort policy.

Meanwhile, it’s important to note that despite the vocal endorsement from Osaka, both the prefecture and prefectural cities have given up on plans to open a casino resort on time for the 2025 World Expo.

Other prefectures to experience delays include Yokohama in the Kanagawa Prefecture as well as the Wakayama and Nagasaki prefectural governments. The stepping down of Shinzo Abe isn’t the most serious upset in the realization of the project.

Mostly, the COVID-19 lockdown has written off the value of many gaming giants that were previously preparing to invest in the first integrated resort. Yet, only a few have remained today. The estimated value of the project ranges anything between $10 and $12 billion, according to Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sheldon Adelson.

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