The Japanese government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy has issued its “Economic and Fiscal Management Fundamental Policy” draft, also known as the Basic Policy 2019, which outlines its planned methods to boost tourism including those related to IRs.
According to the draft, “To achieve the goal of reaching 40 million annual visitors to Japan by 2020, 60 million by 2030 and realize Japan as a tourist destination, there will be a strategic easing of visa regulations, an expansion of duty-free outlets, speeding up entry to and exit from the country through the introduction of facial recognition systems and CIQ systems, enhancement of airport functions, promotion of commissioning direct flights to regional airports, and expansion of mutual exchange programs.”
Regarding IRs, the draft goes on to state, “There will be work on fundamental policies based on the Act on Promotion of Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas to promote IR facilities that will be globally competitive and attractive for long-stay tourism.
“A casino management committee will be established and world-class casino regulations implemented to mitigate and take measures against the concerns raised by casino development. There will also be the implementation of thorough and comprehensive measures against gambling and other addictions.”
The government announced on 22 May that the publication of its fundamental policy regarding integrated resorts would be postponed until after the upper house summer elections. However, it can be assumed that there will be an announcement on the fundamental policy for IRs this financial year considering IR strategy has formed part of this new “basic policy.” Exactly when the fundamental policy becomes reality remains the great unknown.
Prime Minister Abe described the Basic Policy 2019 as a “very important policy package that conveys the important issues and the direction of the cabinet’s economic and fiscal policy.”