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Here are some key areas under discussion, with a detailed look into points of contention between backers and critics of the casino plan. Although Japan criminalizes gambling, the nation is home to an estimated 3.2 million gambling addicts, according to a 2017 health ministry survey. In face-to-face interviews with 10,000 randomly selected residents, of which 4,685, or 46.9 percent, provided valid responses, 3.6 percent were deemed to be currently addicted to gambling or to have been addicts at some point in their lives. The 3.6 percent figure stands out globally, going well beyond similar, if not directly comparable, statistics of 1.9 percent in the Netherlands, 1.2 percent in France and 1.1 percent in Switzerland. The biggest factor in their obsession is pachinko, which Japanese laws technically categorize as a form of entertainment rather than gambling. Pachinko is a huge market in Japan, having generated a whopping ¥21.6 trillion in 2016 according to the latest White Paper on Leisure. This naturally raises concerns that the establishment of casinos may further deepen Japan’s gambling addiction woes. But the government insists this won’t be an issue, citing what it portrays as a model case in Singapore where a National Council on Problem Gambling study shows rates of “probable pathological gambling” have — contrary to popular belief — decreased since casino legalization, from 4.1 percent in 2005 to 0.9 percent in 2017. Tokyo attributes the drop to numerous steps taken by Singaporean authorities to strengthen anti-addiction measures in connection with the legalization. Japan’s government also maintains that casinos here will operate under the “world’s highest standard” with regards to forestalling addiction.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/16/national/casinos-japan-tourist-attractions-hotbeds-gambling-addiction/
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Since 2015 it has been slowly easing restrictions for Chinese citizens. In 2017 it became easier for Azerbaijani travellers to visit and this year those from India and Ukraine were the latest to benefit. A total of 66 nationalities can now visit Japan as a tourist without a visa. In 2014 China overtook South Korea as Japan’s biggest source market and now provides more than six million annual visitors. For comparison, just over one million travel to Japan from the US each year. The falling value of the Japanese yen has been another factor. One US dollar bought around ¥80, on average, in 2012. That rose to ¥98 in 2013, ¥112 in 2014, and more than ¥120 in 2015. It currently stands at around ¥110, still way up on the start of the decade. Sterling goes further too, with one pound currently worth about ¥147 - up from ¥129 in 2012. Hungary's out, Macao's in – how the travel map has changed since 1990 Unchecked tourism is good for the economy - but it causes problems.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/japan/articles/japan-fastest-growing-travel-destination/
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