Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says that the bribery case involving Chinese online gaming firm 500.com will not impact the nation’s IR schedule.
Speaking at a press conference in which the 500.com situation was a major talking point, Suga said, “The Chinese company under investigation have no history of IR and we have to be suspicious about what the real story actually is. This is not an issue with IRs.”
He added that it was not even realistic that 500.com could be aiming to win a license to develop a Japanese IR. The company was said to have been targeting an IR development in either Hokkaido or Okinawa – both of which have pulled the pin on any IR plans – when it offered bribes to local politicians.
Brushing away concerns over the scandal, Suga said it was vital that Japan’s IR schedule continue unabated.
“The necessity of IRs has been discussed many times, including the legal aspects, and we should continue to ensure we realize the effects of an IR facility as soon as possible, and prepare properly,” he said.
Further, the Casino Administration Committee, established on 7 January, “has a duty to enforce strict regulations on any IR facility to ensure its proper operation. The specific criteria of which will be determined by the committee in the future, and we hope to properly fulfil our mission and purpose.”