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海賊インシデントの新たな発生報告がありませんので、「海賊週報」の更新は休みます。
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「トランプ大統領の大物パトロン(ラスベガス・サンズのCEO」の記事に登場する日本のカジノ解禁ストーリー

米中間選挙との絡みがあるのかもしれませんが、とにかく日本では都合が悪くなりそうな話はすべて蓋がされてしまいますから、こんな話がアメリカの調査報道の記事になったことは知っておいたほうがいいのではないかと思います。私は10月11日にイスラエルメディアに取り上げられたのを見て気づきました。

日本の一部メディアやSNSでも取り上げられましたが、情報はまず原点に当たるのが基本です。嘘話が大好きな人たちが大手を振っていますが、「天知る、地知る、我知る、人知る」です。
そこで原記事をそのまま載せます。誤訳する恐れが十分ありますし、英語が堪能な人が多くなっていますので英語のママとします。

念のためトランプ大統領の大物パトロンとされる「Sheldon Adelson(シェルドン・アデルソン)」は、ご存じの方が多いでしょうが、米ラスベガスに本社があるカジノリゾート運営会社「ラスベガス・サンズ」の会長兼最高経営責任者(CEO)です。同社の日本語HPには、シンガポールやマカオなど世界8カ所にリゾートとホテルを所有し、従業員は4万8,500人、収益は138億米ドルという会社と書かれています。

筆者は、Justin Elliott氏。2015年に調査報道の賞を受賞しています。この記事はニューヨークタイムズなどに向けて書かれました。

トランプ大統領の要請はなかったと安倍首相は述べてきましたが、大阪にラスベガスサンズのカジノが誕生するのでしょうか。IR(統合型リゾート)容認を3カ所にしたのは、法的に大きな意味があるように感じますが姑息感が漂います。
資料として読んでください。

Trump’s Patron-in-Chief(見出し)

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has never been more powerful. The Trump administration has advanced his ideological and financial interests, including an assist in his quest to build a casino in Japan.(リード部)

Late on a Thursday evening in February 2017, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plane landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for his first visit with President Donald Trump. A few hours earlier, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s Boeing 737, which is so large it can seat 149 people, touched down at Reagan National Airport after a flight from Las Vegas.

Adelson dined that night at the White House with Trump, Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were among Trump’s biggest benefactors, writing checks for $20 million in the campaign and pitching in an additional $5 million for the inaugural festivities.

Adelson was in town to see the Japanese prime minister about a much greater sum of money. Japan, after years of acrimonious public debate, has legalized casinos. For more than a decade, Adelson and his company, Las Vegas Sands, have sought to build a multibillion-dollar casino resort there. He has called expanding to the country, one of the world’s last major untapped markets, the “holy grail.” Nearly every major casino company in the world is competing to secure one of a limited number of licenses to enter a market worth up to $25 billion per year. “This opportunity won’t come along again, potentially ever,” said Kahlil Philander, an academic who studies the industry.

The morning after his White House dinner, Adelson attended a breakfast in Washington with Abe and a small group of American CEOs, including two others from the casino industry. Adelson and the other executives raised the casino issue with Abe, according to an attendee.

Adelson had a potent ally in his quest: the new president of the United States. Following the business breakfast, Abe had a meeting with Trump before boarding Air Force One for a weekend at Mar-a-Lago. The two heads of state dined with Patriots owner Bob Kraft and golfed at Trump National Jupiter Golf Club with the South African golfer Ernie Els. During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago that weekend, Trump raised Adelson’s casino bid to Abe, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The Japanese side was surprised.

“It was totally brought up out of the blue,” according to one of the people briefed on the exchange. “They were a little incredulous that he would be so brazen.” After Trump told Abe he should strongly consider Las Vegas Sands for a license, “Abe didn’t really respond, and said thank you for the information,” this person said.

Trump also mentioned at least one other casino operator. Accounts differ on whether it was MGM or Wynn Resorts, then run by Trump donor and then-Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the president also mentioned MGM and Abe instructed an aide who was present to jot down the names of both companies. Questioned about the meeting, Abe said in remarks before the Japanese legislature in July that Trump had not passed on requests from casino companies but did not deny that the topic had come up.

The president raising a top donor’s personal business interests directly with a foreign head of state would violate longstanding norms. “That should be nowhere near the agenda of senior officials,” said Brian Harding, a Japan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “U.S.-Japan relations is about the security of the Asia-Pacific, China and economic issues.”

Adelson has told his shareholders to expect good news. On a recent earnings call, Adelson cited unnamed insiders as saying Sands’ efforts to win a place in the Japanese market will pay off. “The estimates by people who know, say they know, whom we believe they know, say that we’re in the No. 1 pole position,” he said.

After decades as a major Republican donor, Adelson is known as an ideological figure, motivated by his desire to influence U.S. policy to help Israel. “I’m a one-issue person. That issue is Israel,” he said last year. On that issue — Israel — Trump has delivered. The administration has slashed funding for aid to Palestinian refugees and scrapped the Iran nuclear deal. Attending the recent opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Adelson seemed to almost weep with joy, according to an attendee.

But his reputation as an Israel advocate has obscured a through-line in his career: He has used his political access to push his financial self-interest. Not only has Trump touted Sands’ interests in Japan, but his administration also installed an executive from the casino industry in a top position in the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. Adelson’s influence reverberates through this administration. Cabinet-level officials jump when he calls. One who displeased him was replaced. He has helped a friend’s company get a research deal with the Environmental Protection Agency. And Adelson has already received a windfall from Trump’s new tax law, which particularly favored companies like Las Vegas Sands. The company estimated the benefit of the law at $1.2 billion.

Adelson’s influence is not absolute: His company’s casinos in Macau are vulnerable in Trump’s trade war with China, which controls the former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong. If the Chinese government chose to retaliate by targeting Macau, where Sands has several large properties, it could hurt Adelson’s bottom line. So far, there’s no evidence that has happened.

The White House declined to comment on Adelson. The Japanese Embassy in Washington declined to comment. Sands spokesman Ron Reese declined to answer detailed questions but said in a statement: “The gaming industry has long sought the opportunity to enter the Japan market. Gaming companies have spent significant resources there on that effort and Las Vegas Sands is no exception.”

Reese added: “If our company has any advantage it would be because of our significant Asian operating experience and our unique convention-based business model. Any suggestion we are favored for some other reason is not based on the reality of the process in Japan or the integrity of the officials involved in it.”

With a fortune estimated at $35 billion, Adelson is the 21st-richest person in the world, according to Forbes. In August, when he celebrated his 85th birthday in Las Vegas, the party stretched over four days. Adelson covered guests’ expenses. A 92-year-old Tony Bennett and the Israeli winner of Eurovision performed for the festivities. He is slowing down physically; stricken by neuropathy, he uses a motorized scooter to get around and often stands up with the help of a bodyguard. He fell and broke three ribs while on a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong last November.

Yet Adelson has spent the Trump era hustling to expand his gambling empire. With Trump occupying the White House, Adelson has found the greatest political ally he’s ever had.

“I would put Adelson at the very top of the list of both access and influence in the Trump administration,” said Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen. “I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’ve been studying money in politics for 40 years.”

Adelson once told …(経歴部分略)

In 2014, Adelson told an interviewer he was not interested in building a dynasty. “I want my legacy to be that I helped out humankind,” he said, underscoring his family’s considerable donations to medical research. But he gives no indication of sticking to a quiet life of philanthropy. In the last four years, he has used the Sands’ fleet of private jets, assiduously meeting with world leaders and seeking to build new casinos in Japan, Korea and Brazil.

He is closest in Japan. Japan has been considering lifting its ban on casinos for years, in spite of majority opposition in polls from a public that is wary of the social problems that might result. A huge de facto gambling industry of the pinball-like game pachinko has long existed in the country, historically associated with organized crime and seedy parlors filled with cigarette-smoking men. Opposition to allowing casinos is so heated that a brawl broke out in the Japanese legislature this summer. But lawmakers have moved forward on legalizing casinos and crafted regulations that hew to Adelson’s wishes.

“Japan is considered the next big market. Sheldon looks at it that way,” said a former Sands official. Adelson envisions building a $10 billion “integrated resort,” which in industry parlance refers to a large complex featuring a casino with hotels, entertainment venues, restaurants and shopping malls.

The new Japanese law allows for just three licenses to build casinos in cities around the country, effectively granting valuable local monopolies. At least 13 companies, including giants like MGM and Genting, are vying for a license. Even though Sands is already a strong contender because of its size and its successful resort in Singapore, some observers in Japan believe Adelson’s relationship with Trump has helped move Las Vegas Sands closer to the multibillion-dollar prize.

Just a week after the U.S. election, Prime Minister Abe arrived at Trump Tower, becoming the first foreign leader to meet with the president-elect. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were also there. Abe presented Trump with a gilded $3,800 golf driver. Few know the details of what the Trumps and Abe discussed at the meeting. In a break with protocol, Trump’s transition team sidelined the State Department, whose Japan experts were never briefed on what was said. “There was a great deal of frustration,” said one State Department official. “There was zero communication from anyone on Trump’s team.”

In another sign of Adelson’s direct access to the incoming president and ties with Japan, he secured a coveted Trump Tower meeting a few weeks later for an old friend, the Japanese billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son. Son’s company, SoftBank, had bought Adelson’s computer trade show business in the 1990s. A few years ago, Adelson named Son as a potential partner in his casino resort plans in Japan. Son’s SoftBank, for its part, owns Sprint, which has long wanted to merge with T-Mobile but needs a green light from the Trump administration. A beaming Son emerged from the meeting in the lobby of Trump Tower with the president-elect and promised $50 billion in investments in the U.S.

When Trump won the election in November 2016, the casino bill had been stalled in the Japanese Diet. One month after the Trump-Abe meeting, in an unexpected move in mid-December, Abe’s ruling coalition pushed through landmark legislation authorizing casinos, with specific regulations to be ironed out later. There was minimal debate on the controversial bill, and it passed at the very end of an extraordinary session of the legislature. “That was a surprise to a lot of stakeholders,” said one former Sands executive who still works in the industry. Some observers suspect the timing was not a coincidence. “After Trump won the election in 2016, the Abe government’s efforts to pass the casino bill shifted into high gear,” said Yoichi Torihata, a professor at Shizuoka University and opponent of the casino law.

On a Las Vegas Sands earnings call a few days after Trump’s inauguration, Adelson touted that Abe had visited the company’s casino resort complex in Singapore. “He was very impressed with it,” Adelson said. Days later, Adelson attended the February breakfast with Abe in Washington, after which the prime minister went on to Mar-a-Lago, where the president raised Las Vegas Sands. A week after that, Adelson flew to Japan and met with the secretary general of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo.

The casino business is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and Adelson has always sought political allies. To enter the business in 1989, he hired the former governor of Nevada to represent him before the state’s gaming commission. In 2001, according to court testimony reported in the New Yorker, Adelson intervened with then-House Majority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay, to whom he was a major donor, at the behest of a Chinese official over a proposed House resolution that was critical of the country’s human rights record. At the time, Las Vegas Sands was seeking entry into the Macau market. The resolution died, which Adelson attributed to factors other than his intervention, according to the magazine.

In 2015, he purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, which then published a lengthy investigative series on one of Adelson’s longtime rivals, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which runs a convention center that competes with Adelson’s. (The paper said Adelson had no influence over its coverage.)

In Japan, Las Vegas Sands’ efforts have accelerated in the last year. Adelson returned to the country in September 2017, visiting top officials in Osaka, a possible casino site. In a show of star power in October, Sands flew in David Beckham and the Eagles’ Joe Walsh for a press conference at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. Beckham waxed enthusiastic about his love of sea urchin and declared, “Las Vegas Sands is creating fabulous resorts all around the world, and their scale and vision are impressive.”

Adelson appears emboldened. When he was in Osaka last fall, he publicly criticized a proposal under consideration to cap the total amount of floor space devoted to casinos in the resorts that have been legalized. In July, the Japanese Diet passed a bill with more details on what casinos will look like and laying out the bidding process. The absolute limit on casino floor area had been dropped from the legislation.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made an unusual personnel move that could help advance pro-gambling interests. The new U.S. ambassador, an early Trump campaign supporter and Tennessee businessman named William Hagerty, hired as his senior adviser an American executive working on casino issues for the Japanese company SEGA Sammy. Joseph Schmelzeis left his role as senior adviser on global government and industry affairs for the company in February to join the U.S. Embassy. (He has not worked for Sands.)

A State Department spokesperson said that embassy officials had communicated with Sands as part of “routine” meetings and advice provided to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. The spokesperson said that “Schmelzeis is not participating in any matter related to integrated resorts or Las Vegas Sands.”

Japanese opposition politicians have seized on the Adelson-Trump-Abe nexus. One, Tetsuya Shiokawa, said this year that he believes Trump has been the unseen force behind why Abe’s party has “tailor-made the [casino] bill to suit foreign investors like Adelson.” In the next stage of the process, casino companies will complete their bids with Japanese localities.

Adelson’s influence (以下少し略)

Even as the casino business looks promising in Japan, China has been a potential trouble spot for Adelson. Few businesses are as vulnerable to geopolitical winds as Adelson’s. The majority of Sands’ value derives from its properties in Macau. It is the world’s gambling capital, and China’s central government controls it.

“Sheldon Adelson highly values direct engagement in Beijing,” a 2009 State Department cable released by WikiLeaks says, “especially given the impact of Beijing’s visa policies on the company’s growing mass market operations in Macau.”

At times, Sands’ aggressive efforts in China crossed legal lines. On Jan. 19, 2017, the day before Trump took office, the Justice Department announced Sands was paying a nearly $7 million fine to settle a longstanding investigation into whether it violated a U.S. anti-bribery statute in China. The case revealed that Sands paid roughly $60 million to a consultant who “advertised his political connections with [People’s Republic of China] government officials” and that some of the payments “had no discernible legitimate business purpose.” Part of the work involved an effort by Sands to acquire a professional basketball team in the country to promote its casinos. The DOJ said Sands fully cooperated in the investigation and fixed its compliance problems.

A year and a half into the Trump administration, Adelson has a bigger problem than the Justice Department investigation: Trump’s trade war against Beijing has put Sands’ business in Macau at risk. Sands’ right to operate expires in a few years. Beijing could throttle the flow of money and people from the mainland to Macau. Sands and the other foreign operators in Macau “now sit on a geopolitical fault line. Their Macau concessions can therefore be on the line,” said a report from the Hong Kong business consultancy Steve Vickers & Associates.

A former Sands board member, George Koo, wrote a column in the Asia Times newspaper in April warning that Beijing could undercut the Macau market by legalizing casinos in the southern island province of Hainan. “A major blow in the trade war would be for China to allow Hainan to become a gambling destination and divert visitors who would otherwise be visiting Macau,” Koo wrote. “As one of Trump’s principal supporters, it’s undoubtedly a good time for Mr. Adelson to have a private conversation with the president.”

It’s not clear if Adelson has had that conversation. According to The Associated Press, Adelson was present for a discussion of China policy at the dinner he attended with Trump at the White House in February 2017. In September, Trump escalated his trade war with China. He raised tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports. China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products.

Adelson has said privately that if he can be helpful in any way he would volunteer himself to do whatever is asked for either side of the equation — the U.S. or China, according to a person who has spoken to him.

Torossian, the public relations executive(以下略)

ソース

☆お知らせ☆

今週の「海賊週報」の更新は、新たなインシデントの発生報告がありませんので取りやめます。

                                    (了)

★★海賊週報★★(2018・8・27~9・2) 

【ハイジャック・誘拐】=なし
【海賊の未遂、強盗・窃盗の既遂・未遂】=南アジア3件、南米2件、南アジア1件
【ソマリア海賊の未遂と疑わしい活動】=なし 続きを読む

LEDライトがVHF、AISに干渉ー米沿岸警備隊が安全警報

米沿岸警備隊は8月16日、LEDライトが船舶自動識別装置(AIS)やVHF無線、digital selective calling (DSC)などに干渉し、機器の作動に障害を与えたとの報告が相次いでいるため、安全警報〈U.S. Coast Guard Safety Alert (13-18)〉を出し、注意を呼び掛けました。 続きを読む

★★海賊週報★★(2018・7・17~8・12)

【ハイジャック・誘拐】=なし
【海賊の未遂、強盗・窃盗の既遂・未遂】=東南アジア3件、ギニア湾2件、東アフリカ1件、南アジア1件、南米1件
【ソマリア海賊の未遂と疑わしい活動】=なし 続きを読む

イエメン・フーシ派のサウジタンカー攻撃はIRGCが指令

7月25日に紅海南部で起きたイエメン・フーシ派によるサウジアラビアのVLCCタンカー2隻への攻撃はイランの革命防衛隊(IRGC)の指令に基づくものだったとIRGC高官が8月7日認めました。 続きを読む

イラン大統領、国民向けメッセージを発信へ。米の経済制裁再発動を受け

核合意から離脱した米国が経済制裁を再発動するのを受けてイランのロウハニ大統領は8月6日夜、(17:10GMT)に国営テレビを通じて国民にメッセージを発信するようです。米国の経済制裁発動が米東部時間7日午前零時ですからこれに合わせたものです。 続きを読む

★イラン、ホルムズ海峡で大規模演習を開始。小型艦船50隻以上が展開

イラン海軍は8月2日、ホルムズ海峡で大規模な海上軍事演習を開始しました。イラン特有の小型艦船50隻以上が演習に参加しています。 続きを読む

☆お知らせ☆海賊週報の更新を休みます

先週の海賊・盗賊発生報告がありませんでしたので「海賊週報」の更新を休みます。平穏な海であることは喜ばしいことです。
                                              ( 了 )

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