Abe says casino resorts would create jobs, rejecting opposition

TOKYO —Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended Wednesday his party’s push to legalize casino gambling in Japan and his handling of plans to reform labor practices, responding to criticism from Democratic Party chief Renho in their first leaders’ debate in the Diet since the latter took charge of the largest opposition party in September.

Abe said casinos would make up a small part (3%) of the proposed “integrated resorts” and the rest will consist of other facilities, “which will bring about growth by inviting various sorts of investment and creating jobs.”

The bill to allow establishment of the casino resorts, sponsored by a group of lawmakers mainly from Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, is under debate in the House of Councillors after speedy deliberations in the House of Representatives. Democratic Party lawmakers had walked out on the lower house vote in protest.

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