The Japanese government is set to include rules of contact in its Basic Policy for IR development, aimed at ministers and government officials who hold meetings with casino operators.
According to NHK, the new rules will require officials to meet in groups and keep detailed records of all interactions following the recent bribery scandal involving former Senior Vice Cabinet Minister, Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested and indicted by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor under suspicion of receiving bribes from a Chinese company that was looking to invest in IRs.
Akimoto, who has been indicted on three separate counts, was released from jail on 12 February after posting bail of JPY 30 million (US$273,000).
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kazuyodhi Akaba, said at the lower house budget committee earlier this month that the government was considering establishing rules of contact and record keeping for officials meeting with casino operators.
Based on the advice of the Casino Administration Committee and rules already established by local governments, the government has now confirmed that these will be included in the Basic Policy regarding selection criteria for IR development areas to be finalized next month.
The majority of local governments aiming for an IR bid have established rules of contact to promote transparency, and Osaka prefecture/city has published a summary of visits on its website, while omitting operator names to ensure a fair playing field.
All information will be released at a later stage when there is no longer a competitive issue. It is unclear at this point whether the government’s fundamental policy will mandate such a system of publication.