Commonwealth of Northern Mariana should say NO to gaming — Japanese consul

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JAPANESE Consul Kinji Shinoda said the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands should not rely solely on gaming industry, saying it is not a “productive industry.”

Shinoda, who was one of the guests at the opening of the Sugar King-Era Arts Exhibit at Joeten-Kiyu Public Library last Tuesday, said gaming industry cannot make the CNMI progressive.

“I always tell local people that production is most important to the Northern Marianas Islands (NMI) for its development,” he said.

The consul then cited the economic growth brought about by sugarcane when the NMI were still under the Japanese administration.

Since 1919, Shinoda said Japanese business and investment – most particularly the Sugar King – made local progress in the NMI.

“Also in the 1980s, a lot of Japanese investors came here. The CNMI government made local revenue because of Japanese investments,” he said.

“You cannot make any progress by gaming. Gaming is just entertainment. Even if you make a lot of revenue from gaming industry, money will still be gone in the future,” he added.

Shinoda said the NMI and Japan’s history proved that production industry make the islands stable. He then suggested that the CNMI has to create a product to export and earn money.

Shinoda also said that the chamber of commerce and the Northern Marianas College should make a study in regards to the potential products that the NMI should produce and, eventually, export.

“CNMI should consider that by themselves and find out what is the best industry for them – maybe farming, agriculture or fishery or IT industry,” he said.

The consul also congratulated the Sugar King Foundation and painter Eijita Itakura for the donations they made to the NMI.

“The paintings are very interesting exhibition. They were reminders that CNMI history is part of the Japanese history, but younger generations don’t know much about that,” he said.


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