By MARI YAMAGUCHI
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s government has approved a controversial plan to open the country’s first casino in the city of Osaka as it seeks to lure more foreign tourists. The casino resort is to include conference facilities, an exhibition hall, a hotel and a theater and is expected to open as early as autumn 2029. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says it will contribute to the local and national economy. The casino will be built by the Japanese subsidiary of U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts International, Japan’s Orix Corp. and a number of regional investors. Past attempts to build casinos have failed, often because of strong public opposition to gambling, even though state-run wagering on horse and boat racing is extremely popular.