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Japan Lottery Association
Address: 4-9 Hirakawa-cho, 2-chome Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0093
E-mail Address:
Phone: +81 3 3261 8540
Fax: +81 3 3234 2903
President: Mr Yokichi Yokoyama

Background Information

The first lotteries in Japan are said to date from the 1630's, about 360 years ago. The went through a series of bannings and revivals until 1842, when they were banned completely. This lasted until shortly before the end of the Second World War, in 1945, when lotteries were revived to obtain funds for the war effort.
In October 1945, immediately after the war, the Japanese government began selling lottery tickets under the name Takara-kuji meaning "fortune" or "treasure" lottery. The government's aims then were to soak up idle capital in order to contain rampant inflation and to procure funds for post-war reconstruction.
In 1946, local governments were also permitted to organize Takara-kuji lotteries. From 1954, when the national government abandoned the lottery, they became the exclusive issuing bodies of Takara-kuji.
Since the first Takara-kuji was sold about fifty years ago, these lotteries have grown with the country, and today they are supported by a wide range of groups within the Japanese population. The profit collected from the sales of Takara-kuji has also become a significant part of each local government's budget and is used for public works and so forth.
According to Japanese law, only the nation's 47 prefectures and 12 specially designated cities may organize Takara-kuji lotteries.
A lottery must first obtain the approval of the local assembly and then the Minister of Home Affairs. The actual operation of the lottery (i.e., printing and delivery of the tickets to retail outlets, public relations, advertising, sales, draws, announcement of winning numbers, payment of prizes, etc.) is entrusted by law to the bank.
Although several banks have performed this function since 1945, The Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank has long taken a leading role and at present is the sole trustee.
Japanese lotteries are broadly divided into traditional or conventional style lotteries, with printed numbers on the tickets, and others in which the player can choose any combination of digits. Some of the former offer special features, such as one with a very high first prize or with low-value prizes but better odds of winning. The latter, which were introduced in 1994, are called the "Numbers". Other recently developed products include an instant lottery and the Double-Chance Lottery, which combine the conventional and instant types.
There are six major lottery types, classified by sales regions. The All-Japan Lottery is sold throughout the country. The four "bloc" lotteries are sold in each of Japan's four bloc regions (the Kanto-Chubu-Tohoku region, Tokyo Metropolitan District, the Kinki region and the West Japan region) and the Local Medical Care Promotion Lotteries (the so-called Rainbow Lotteries) are sold in designated regions. The Rainbow Lotteries are designed to aid in the purchase of equipment to upgrade facilities at the Jichi Medical School, established for medical care promotion in rural areas, as well as to obtain funds for building a welfare society for the elderly.
The All-Japan Lottery is held 12 times a year, with the bloc lotteries being held generally every week in each bloc region, and the Rainbow Lotteries being held nine times a year.
In addition to these regularly issued lotteries, the Event Lottery was created in 1989, the sales of which are permitted only on the premises of Expositions and local events sponsored by local governments. This is one of the instant lotteries and is favorably received in each region since the odds of winning are higher than other types of lotteries.
The Japan Lottery Association can be found at:

See also: Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank

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