Investment Goliath


A week ago, the Japanese Diet approved the establishment of the casino industry in the country. The gaming industry would be part of the planned integrated resort to lure non-gamblers to avail of other services in casinos.

Already, international gaming companies like Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands look forward to investing in the newly approved industry. The venues are likely the Yokohama and Osaka areas. Initial projection is around $10 billion in new revenues annually or $30 billion when the gaming industry is spread throughout Japan.

Am I worried about tidings of Japan turning into Asia’s gaming hub? Yes! Known as the Land of the Rising, it has turned the destination of its visitors to the Aloha State, thus the fateful sunset for the NMI. When it opens its opulent gaming business, it probably means the final chapter in our seeing tourists from Japan. No worries! We did it to ourselves!

The binge for casino in the region turns this industry into a highly competitive business. Now, if we’ve failed marketing the islands how else do we gain against fully poised international competitors nearby? Isn’t it a déjà vu of the apparel industry?

Perhaps the newfound toy of “poker syndrome” ought to be replaced with “reality check.” By then investments would have sailed way south!

Patience is a virtue!
As school kids walk home laughing and yelling in youthful joy a serious query popped up in mind: what’s in their future? Would there be sufficient economic opportunities ahead so they could settle down at home? Or would they too join others “evacuate” elsewhere to find real opportunities?

I wish I could place my finger on the blurred radar screen before me. Is their future in the minds of jokers on the hill who specialize in what’s known as poker syndrome? The syndrome is a political virus where one takes chances on anything, come hell or high water. There’s no due diligence. The lack of blueprint from this administration is a tale of their “que sera” commitment for our children.

In quiet moments I’d think through this and other issues of substance in hopes that even by chance someone would have the gall to say, “Excuse me, wrong direction, let’s go this way.” I’ve only heard it in the figment of my imagination.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard one too many discordant voices on the hardship villagers had to endure. This sentiment would morph into an explosion so difficult to domesticate when it goes off! Did someone say, “Not yet, already?”

Dangling sentiment aplenty
There are tidings of an improving economy and we all are hopeful it would improve disposable income of families all over. But my guarded hope was dashed when my friend, a young student at Umañg Elementary School, said, “I can’t buy a pair of shoes for Christmas because da `conomy nai.” The sentiment came from a student suffering real hardship. Improvement?


I thought things were fine until rumors abound that firemen are now being trained to climb or scale high-rise buildings with fire hose in tow. Said a trainee, “Natting fire truck to put out fire on tall buildings.” Isn’t tourism the primary industry here? I wonder if there’s a plan to light up the Christmas season with the first high-rise fire. Halo?


The CEO at the hospital was all smiles when Satans from the hill came down in triplets (modern Three Kings) donating some suspect gifts to CHC.

“Satan was just here!” whispered a patient to the attending nurse.

“Satan or Santa?” asked the curious nurse.

“Ai, si Satan, n’ai!”

“They gifted themselves with very high salaries, ignoring our needs!”

Not a good time to be around the hospital when suspect three kings deliver used PJs for in-patients. Why like dat, lai?

The authority to appropriate public funds rests with the lLegislature. It begins in the lower chamber. The process involves critical review how public funds are spent including planned expenditure. With this in mind, it’s quizzical why would the Legislature surrender such authority approving that agencies borrow money on their own accord?

Hell, even with the use of komun sense this action would seem to be unconstitutional! But hold your horse, sir! Consult with Biktot Hokog and Larissa Larson expropriating public funds via a delegation’s resolution! Is it legal?


The celebratory handclap cheering economic improvement fades embarrassingly quickly if one reads Moodys’ assessment of the NMI. Not very good rookin`! Read it anyway for personal awareness that it isn’t all honey! No good rookin`, braddah! Remember the story of “No good rookin`?” It’s about a farmer that sold his blind bull to his neighbor? The new owner found out that his bull walks into coconut trees and other plants all over. No can see, “No good rookin`”.


For all our follies and inconsistencies I still love these isles. I know of no place in the world where “everyday” is Christmas Day! The secretary of Finance gave away $400,000 to Biktot Hokog’s family business. Christmas came early, di ba? Why the deafening silence among officials on the violation of laws in the MV Luta case? Must be loaded with komun sense, no?


Bloomberg’s report of billions being made here is indeed “staggering.. But it also piqued my interest if the administration and the Legislature aren’t sleeping on the same pillow to ignore underreporting of actual income. Isn’t this an impeachable offense by those directly involved in the scheme? Did you know that such is impeachable or “Not yet, already?”

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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