In accordance with the Act concerning Promotion of Development of Integrated Resort Areas that we first described in our December 2016/January 2017 issue, the Council for the Promotion of the Development of Integrated Resort Areas ("IR Promotion Council") was established to study and deliberate about the measures to be taken to promote the development of integrated resort areas. On July 31, 2017, the IR Promotion Council, after numerous discussions, resolved and published the Summary Opinion (Becoming a "Tourism Developed Country"). This opinion includes some key information that will function as the basis of the draft bill of the Implementation Act concerning Development of Integrated Resort Areas ("IR Implementation Act"), which will be prepared in the future. For instance, the maximum number of areas to be approved by the government will be limited to two or three in the early stages. The exact procedures for deciding the areas to be approved, the timing of approvals, and other such matters currently are still unclear. Going forward, however, the integrated resort promotion headquarters will prepare the preliminary draft bill of the IR Implementation Act and proceed through the public comment procedure, and the draft bill will be submitted at the extraordinary Diet session in the fall. Thus, any future developments with respect to the draft bill should be closely monitored.

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