This story was published more than 11 years ago.
A report in the Wall Street journal claims that the government of Japan is taking steps toward allowing casino gambling in the country for the first time as a way to try and break the long economic slump that has plagued the country.
The report cites the success that other Asian countries have had in bringing casino gambling within their borders. Currently Japan only allows heavily restricted forms of gambling including pachinko and horse racing. While no specific plans have been discussed, the paper claims that legalization is a long term possibility.
"In a rare sign of cooperation amid the country's fractious politics, a group of 150 lawmakers from the ruling party and five opposition parties have embraced legislation that could begin the process of legalizing gambling within two years. Leaders of the group say they plan to submit the bill before the current parliamentary session is scheduled to end." the paper reports.
Speaking to the Journal, Japanese Liberal Democratic Party Member Takeshi Iwaya said, "Neighboring areas are contemplating similar plans, so if we don't hurry, we may risk missing out on a big opportunity."