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Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Kazuyoshi Akaba has said that the government is panning to change the timetable for licensing casino resorts in the country in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the minister, the government is assessing the pandemic’s negative impact on the casino sector.

He told the media that “Some IR operators who have partnered with local governments are in a difficult situation due to the impact of the new coronavirus, and there have been opinions saying that the future is uncertain.”

He reportedly added: “We will act carefully, and once we have properly confirmed the situation with local governments on the ground.”

It must be noted that the Japanese government has not yet published a basic policy on IRs. Lack of such a policy also forces the prefectural governments to postpone their own processes of selecting a private-sector partner.

Earlier, the government had reportedly decided to publish an IR policy on July 26. But it has not happened. A change in timeline of IR licensing now looks inevitable.