A meeting in Tokyo last month of the 135-member Integrated Resort and Casino Diet Member Association discussed casino gaming for the Sendai region of Japan that was ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami in March. The casino would create jobs and revenue to aid in the recovery of the area, according to Tokyo-based gaming consultancy Gaming Capital Management.
The association, which includes members of the Japanese Diet (parliament), considered setting up a special economic zone where casinos would be permitted. The zone would be exempted from the section of the Japanese Criminal Code that prohibits gambling.
Mitsuru Sakurai, a Democratic Party of Japan member in the lower House of Representatives, is from Sendai, and was receptive to the idea.
“We feel that great progress has been made from the viewpoint of the earthquake-affected district,” he said. “We could not make the connection with a casino project just after the earthquake. But now I could state that a casino would play an important role for the realization of recovery, although currently we could not receive international flights at Sendai Airport.”
Issei Koga, chairman of the association and of the Democratic Party of Japan, said the idea should be considered but that a formal proposal has not yet been introduced.