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Protesters rally against controversial casino bill in front of Diet

Citizens stage a demonstration in front of the Diet Building on July 20, 2018, against a casino bill. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Citizens groups, opposition legislators and lawyers staged a demonstration in front of the Diet Building on July 20 as the legislature moved to pass a controversial bill to allow the establishment of integrated resorts including casinos into law.

Participants in the rally included lawyers who are working to help people saddled with multiple debts and figures representing consumer organizations.

Those who delivered speeches during the gathering pointed out that the Diet failed to discuss the negative impact of casinos, such as family breakdowns resulting from of gambling addictions.

At the end of the demonstration, participants chanted slogans opposing the casino legislation.

Attorney Koji Niisato, who leads a liaison council opposing the establishment of casinos and other gambling facilities, said, "Any growth strategy that is predicated on people's misfortune is unacceptable. Questions remain among many members of the public about lifting the ban on casinos."

The House of Councillors passed the integrated resort bill into law at a plenary session on the evening of July 20.

(Japanese original by Akira Iida, Tokyo City News Department)

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