Asia: Gambling On Japan, Tokyo Olympics Ticket Prices, Li Zhi Sues Talent Show

Japan casinos
Yusuke Ogata/Kyodo News via AP
– Japan casinos
Japan’s parliament approved a contentious casino implementation law July 20, clearing the way for casinos to open in this wealthy nation and possibly lure more foreign visitors.

Gambling On Casino Legislation

On July 20, the last day of the most recent session of Japan’s national assembly, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party rammed through a bill authorizing the opening of casino resorts, despite opposition to legalized casino gambling by the general public. Over the following weekend, Kyodo news service conducted a telephone survey that showed 64.8 percent of respondents were against the legislation, while 27.6 percent “expressed support” for it. Even among people who said they supported the current government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 47.6 percent opposed the casino law.
The legislation allows the establishment of casinos at up to three locations in Japan as part of “integrated resorts,” which comprise hotels, conference halls and shopping facilities. The ostensible explanation for the bill is to boost foreign visitor numbers so as to revitalize local economies. However, the main locations in the running to receive approval for IRs are in major cities, like Tokyo and Osaka, where local economies are relatively robust. 
In addition, researchers have pointed out that the main tourist target for the IRs, high rollers from the Chinese mainland, will not likely show up in the numbers desired because of more amenable casino action in Macau and Singapore. Opposition parties, in fact, have been saying that the real target of the overseas IR companies that want to build casinos in Japan is the Japanese themselves, who are noted for their loads of disposable income. Consequently, the bill comes with a provision for addressing a possible increase in gambling addiction. There is also worry that casinos will invariably attract criminal elements, which already carry out illegal gambling activities throughout Japan. 
Tokyo Olympics Ticket Prices Announced
The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics announced ticket prices for the games on July 20. The low-est price will be a symbolic 2,020 yen ($18) and the highest the equivalent of $2,760, which roughly cor-responds to the price range for tickets to the 2012 London Olympics but higher than that for the Rio Games.
According to various news sources, more than half the tickets will cost less than 8,000 yen ($71), with prices for the opening ceremony ranging from 12,000 yen to 300,000 yen. The lowest-priced 2,020 yen tickets will only be available for group sales so that “families and groups with children, older people and handicapped people can come to the events,” according to the organizers. The cheapest individual ticket will be 2,500 yen ($22).
The most expensive events will be track and field, with tickets ranging from 3,000 yen to 130,000 yen. Seats for marathons, softball, hockey and a number of other events will start at 2,500 yen. 
Tickets will go on sale starting in the spring of 2019. Potential ticket buyers will need to prereg-ister for purchase online. Also, timing for ticket sales overseas will vary depending on the country. Or-ganizers hope to sell 7.8 million tickets and bring in 77.3 billion yen.
Fighting For Their (Copy)Rights
Though music piracy and copyright infringement are still problems in China, more professionals are learning how to use the legal system to get what’s theirs. Earlier this month, singer Li Zhi filed a lawsuit against a popular Chinese talent show, “The Coming One,” for performing his songs “without authorization,” according to The Beijing News. Li is demanding 3 million yuan ($450,000) in compensation, and while the show’s producer, Wajijiwa Entertainment, and the broadcaster, Tencent Video, have acknowledged the suit, they have yet to accept its terms.
In explaining the 3 million yuan figure, Li said that one million was for “infringements” that occurred during season two of the show, another million was for one contestant using his song earlier this year, and the remaining million will be given to other artists whose works were used improperly. “The Coming One” is a conspicuously popular program in China. By September of 2017 it had been viewed 3.9 billion times. It also gave birth to one of China’s biggest stars right now, Mao Buyi, who is also mentioned in Li’s suit. 
Nevertheless, copyright procedures in China have come into line with worldwide practices. TV talent shows work with companies that secure rights for songs used on the air and provide a list of songs that contestants can perform. But violations often occur. 
The government has an interest in the case since the Ministry of Culture has been advocating for greater protections for intellectual property rights holders in order to improve its international image and make the music industry stronger economically. Thanks to stricter enforcement, it’s been found that Chinese consumers are willing to pay for music. 
At the same time, more artists are suing for their rights. This isn’t the first lawsuit Li has filed, and so far he has received 200,000 yuan in compensation. He says he is asking for such a large amount this time because small amounts don’t do enough damage to change the system, which is his real purpose.