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Casino gambling brings mixed responses from political candidates

Date Posted: 2008-05-08

The question of whether Okinawa should introduce casino gambling has brought a three-way split among the 72 candidates looking for seats in the Prefecture Assembly.
Responding to a newspaper company poll, 22 say casino gambling could bring innovation and benefits, which 27 are opposed. Another 23 candidates said they were undecided, or didn’t answer. Okinawa’s Governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, is pushing casino proponents to get people involved, but there’s a 50-50 split among the general population whether legalized casino gambling’s a good idea.
Candidates were much more sure of themselves on the need for increased public transportation on Okinawa. Asked about whether they’d support a road rail tram, light rail system or some other form of rail transportation, 67 said they would, while only one turned thumbs down.
Potential lawmakers aren’t impressed with a government plan to restructure the country’s prefectures into larger administrative entities, including once suggestion Okinawa should be merged with the Kyushu area by 2018. The majority, 59 candidates, said Okinawa should remain separate from mainland restructuring, while six think the current system is good. Seven others said there needs to be more careful thought before decisions are reached.
An Okinawa Prefecture plan to seek reimbursement from companies found guilty of bid rigging in order to obtain projects also met with a variety of viewpoints by the candidates running for the May 30th elections. Six said the Prefecture should stop pursuing the money, while 32 think the companies involved in bid rigging should cough up some restitution for damages. Another 14 demand the involved companies pay everything back to the Prefecture, while still another 20 couldn’t figure how the Prefecture should be handling the chaotic situation.

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