Gambling in Metro Manila
Gambling in Metro Manila has been regulated since 1976 when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation was created through Presidential Decree 1067. Under its charter promulgated in 1983, the 100% state-owned PAGCOR, running under the direct supervision of the Office of the President, serves three crucial roles: to regulate and operate all games of chance in the country casino gaming. Prior to 1976, illegal gambling dominated the Philippines as unlicensed casinos and underground bookmaking operations were opened across the country. Illegal forms of gambling included jueteng and last two. Among the few lawful gambling activities in those days were church-organised bingo sessions and jai alai wagering at the Manila Jai Alai Building. In 1977, PAGCOR opened its first casino, The Manila Bay Casino, a floating casino which operated in all three decks of luxury liner MS Philippine Tourist off Manila Bay in partnership with the Philippine Casino Operators Corporation and Manila Bay Enterprises, Inc., majority owned by the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau of casino magnate, Stanley Ho.
When a fire gutted the ship in 1979, PAGCOR shifted its operations to land-based casinos. By the end of that year, the Philippine Village Hotel built in 1974 at the old Nayong Pilipino complex adjacent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport became home to the city's first land-based casino. Metro Manila has around twenty casinos, most of which are located near the Manila Bay area and the NAIA airport in Parañaque. Most casinos in the city are operated by PAGCOR under the Casino Filipino brand. Gambling in Manila now takes place in luxury casino hotels and integrated resorts located in Entertainment City and Newport City under license from PAGCOR; the Casino Filipino Pavilion at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion is Manila's oldest surviving casino which opened in 1986. The city's largest stand-alone casino was Casino Filipino Airport housed in the PRIC Building on Ninoy Aquino Avenue occupied by Duty Free Philippines until 1997 but was closed down in July 2014. In 2009, Resorts World Manila, the Philippines' first integrated resort, was built on a portion of Villamor Air Base in Pasay across from NAIA Terminal 3.
The city's newest casino is the $2.4-B Okada Manila completed in December 2016 in Entertainment City, the third of four billion-dollar casinos to rise in Manila's gaming strip. Casino Filipino Airport Casino Filipino Heritage Hotel Grand Boulevard Hotel & Casino Silahis International Hotel Philippine Village Hotel Casino Manila Bay Casino Sports betting has a long history in the Philippines. Popular forms of legalized sports gambling include betting on cockfighting, jai alai and horseracing. Sabong, as how cockfighting is known locally, has been hugely popular prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, it was legalized and regulated in the early 18th century as a source of revenue for the Spanish colonial government. In 1854, the Tondo cockpit in Manila generated as much as 80,000 Mexican silver dollars for the government. By 1861, a new series of regulations were passed which permitted it to be held on Sundays and holidays, including town fiestas; the sport remains popular today and is regulated by the Philippine Gamefowl Commission created in 1981 under the Games and Amusement Board.
The Games and Amusement Board regulates jai alai and horseracing operations as well as off-track bookmaking stations in the country. Jai alai was first introduced in the Philippines in 1899 with some of the earlier games played in the Casino Español de Manila. In 1939, the games shifted to the Manila Jai Alai Building. Jai alai was temporarily banned in 1986 because of problems with game fixing; the building was subsequently torn down in 2000. By March 2010, jai alai returned to the country with the games now being played in a fronton in Santa Ana, Cagayan. Betting on other competitive sports such as boxing, basketball and tennis is possible through licensed sportsbook MegaSportsWorld that has several branches in Metro Manila and a telephone service. PAGCOR operates 102 e-Games stations throughout Metro Manila. An e-Games station is an internet café. In addition, there are 12 e-Games sites in the metropolis operated by BigGame, Inc. a subsidiary of PhilWeb Corporation, under license from PAGCOR.
As of August 10, 2016, the e-Games outlets operated by PhilWeb were closed following the non-renewal of its license by PAGCOR. Tourism in Manila Gambling in the Philippines List of casinos in the Philippines List of hotels in Manila World Casino Directory – Philippine Casinos & Gambling
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t
Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet. The sport originated in the only country where it is practiced professionally, it is considered a gendai budō, which refers to modern Japanese martial art, but the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from Shinto. Life as a wrestler is regimented, with rules regulated by the Japan Sumo Association. Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal sumo training stables, known in Japanese as heya, where all aspects of their daily lives—from meals to their manner of dress—are dictated by strict tradition. From 2008 to 2017, a number of high-profile controversies and scandals have rocked the sumo world, with an associated effect on its reputation and ticket sales.
These have affected the sport's ability to attract recruits. Despite this setback, sumo's popularity and general attendance has rebounded due to having multiple yokozuna for the first time in a number of years and other high-profile wrestlers such as Endō and Ichinojō grabbing the public's attention. In addition to its use as a trial of strength in combat, sumo has been associated with Shinto ritual; some shrines carry out forms of ritual dance where a human is said to wrestle with a kami, a Shinto divine spirit. It was an important ritual at the imperial court, where representatives of each province were ordered to attend the contest at the court and fight; the contestants were required to pay for their travel themselves. The contest was known as sumai no sechie, or "sumai party". Over the rest of recorded Japanese history, sumo's popularity changed according to the whims of rulers and the need for its use as a training tool in periods of civil strife; the form of wrestling combat changed into one where the main aim in victory was to throw one's opponent.
The concept of pushing one's opponent out of a defined area came some time later. A ring, defined as something other than the area given to the wrestlers by spectators, is believed to have come into being in the 16th century as a result of a tournament organized by the principal warlord in Japan, Oda Nobunaga. At this point, wrestlers would wear loose loincloths rather than the much stiffer mawashi wrestling belts of today. During the Edo period, wrestlers would wear a fringed decorative apron called a keshō-mawashi during the match, whereas today these are worn only during pretournament rituals. Most of the rest of the current forms within the sport developed in the early Edo period. Professional sumo roots trace back to the Edo period in Japan as a form of sporting entertainment; the original wrestlers were samurai rōnin, who needed to find an alternative form of income. Current professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, were held in the Ekō-in in the Edo period.
Western Japan had its own sumo venues and tournaments in this period, with the most prominent center being in Osaka. Osaka sumo continued to the end of the Taishō period in 1926, when it merged with Tokyo sumo to form one organization. For a short period after this, four tournaments were held a year, two tournaments in locations in western Japan such as Nagoya and Fukuoka, two in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. From 1933 onward, tournaments were held exclusively in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan, until the American occupation forces appropriated it and the tournaments moved to Meiji Shrine until the 1950s. An alternate location, the Kuramae Kokugikan near Ryōgoku, was built for sumo. In this period, the Sumo Association began expanding to venues in western Japan again, reaching a total of six tournaments a year by 1958, with half of them in Kuramae. In 1984, the Ryōgoku Kokugikan was rebuilt and sumo tournaments in Tokyo have been held there since; the winner of a sumo bout is either the first wrestler to force his opponent to step out of the ring, or the first wrestler to force his opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his feet.
A number of other less common rules can be used to determine the winner. For example, a wrestler using an illegal technique automatically loses, as does one whose mawashi comes undone. A wrestler failing to show up for his bout automatically loses. Bouts consist of a single round and last only a few seconds, as one wrestler is ousted from the circle or thrown to the ground. However, they can last for several minutes; each match is preceded by an elaborate ceremonial ritual. Traditionally, sumo wrestlers are renowned for their great girth and body mass, a winning factor in sumo. No weight divisions are used in professional sumo. However, with superior technique, smaller wrestlers can defeat much larger opponents; the average weight of top division wrestlers has continued to increase, from 125 kilograms in 1969 to over 150 kilograms by 1991, was a record 166 kilograms as of January 2019. In some situations a review of the gyōji's decision may be needed; the judges outside the ring, who sit at eye level may convene a conference in the middle of the ring, called a "mono-ii".
This is done if the judges decide that the decision over who won the bout needs to be rev
Rock–paper–scissors is a hand game played between two people, in which each player forms one of three shapes with an outstretched hand. These shapes are "rock", "paper", "scissors". "Scissors" is identical to the two-fingered V sign except that it is pointed horizontally instead of being held upright in the air. A simultaneous, zero-sum game, it has only two possible outcomes: a draw, or a win for one player and a loss for the other. A player who decides to play rock will beat another player who has chosen scissors, but will lose to one who has played paper. If both players choose the same shape, the game is tied and is immediately replayed to break the tie; the type of game originated in China and spread with increased contact with East Asia, while developing different variants in signs over time. Other names for the game in the English-speaking world include roshambo and other orderings of the three items, with "rock" sometimes being called "stone". Rock–paper–scissors is used as a fair choosing method between two people, similar to coin flipping, drawing straws, or throwing dice in order to settle a dispute or make an unbiased group decision.
Unlike random selection methods, rock–paper–scissors can be played with a degree of skill by recognizing and exploiting non-random behavior in opponents. The players count aloud to three, or speak the name of the game, each time either raising one hand in a fist and swinging it down on the count or holding it behind, they "throw" by extending it towards their opponent. Variations include a version where players use only three counts before throwing their gesture, or a version where they shake their hands three times before "throwing"; the first known mention of the game was in the book Wuzazu by the Chinese Ming-dynasty writer Xie Zhaozhi, who wrote that the game dated back to the time of the Chinese Han dynasty. In the book, the game was called shoushiling. Li Rihua's book Note of Liuyanzhai mentions this game, calling it shoushiling, huozhitou, or huoquan. Throughout Japanese history there are frequent references to sansukumi-ken, meaning ken games where "the three who are afraid of one another".
This type of game originated in China before being imported to Japan and subsequently becoming popular among the Japanese. The earliest Japanese sansukumi-ken game was known as mushi-ken, imported directly from China. In mushi-ken the "frog" is superseded by the "slug", which, in turn is superseded by the "snake", superseded by the "frog". Although this game was imported from China the Japanese version differs in the animals represented. In adopting the game, the original Chinese characters for the poisonous centipede were confused with the characters for the slug; the most popular sansukumi-ken game in Japan was kitsune-ken. In the game, a supernatural fox called a kitsune defeats the village head, the village head defeats the hunter, the hunter defeats the fox. Kitsune-ken, unlike mushi-ken or rock–paper–scissors, is played by making gestures with both hands. Today, the best-known sansukumi-ken is called jan-ken, a variation of the Chinese games introduced in the 17th century. Jan-ken uses the rock and scissors signs and is the game that the modern version of rock–paper–scissors derives from directly.
Hand-games using gestures to represent the three conflicting elements of rock and scissors have been most common since the modern version of the game was created in the late 19th century, between the Edo and Meiji periods. By the early 20th century, rock–paper–scissors had spread beyond Asia through increased Japanese contact with the west, its English-language name is therefore taken from a translation of the names of the three Japanese hand-gestures for rock and scissors: elsewhere in Asia the open-palm gesture represents "cloth" rather than "paper". The shape of the scissors is adopted from the Japanese style. In Britain in 1924 it was described in a letter to The Times as a hand game of Mediterranean origin, called "zhot". A reader wrote in to say that the game "zhot" referred to was evidently Jan-ken-pon, which she had seen played throughout Japan. Although at this date the game appears to have been new enough to British readers to need explaining, the appearance by 1927 of a popular thriller with the title Scissors Cut Paper, followed by Stone Blunts Scissors, suggests it became popular.
In 1927 La Vie au patronage, a children's magazine in France, described it in detail, referring to it as a "jeu japonais". Its French name, "Chi-fou-mi", is based on the Old Japanese words for "one, three". A 1932 New York Times article on the Tokyo rush hour describes the rules of the game for the benefit of American readers, suggesting it was not at that time known in the U. S; the 1933 edition of the Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia described it as a common method of settling disputes between children in its article on Japan.
Mahjong is a tile-based game, developed in China during the Qing dynasty and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. It is played by four players; the game and its regional variants are played throughout Eastern and South Eastern Asia and have become popular in Western countries too. The game has been adapted into a widespread online entertainment. Similar to the Western card game rummy, Mahjong is a game of skill and calculation and involves a degree of chance; the game is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, although some regional variations may omit some tiles or add unique tiles. In most variations, each player begins by receiving 13 tiles. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form 4 melds and a pair. A player can win with a small class of special hands. There are standard rules about how a piece is drawn, how a piece is robbed from another player, the use of simples and honors, the kinds of melds allowed, how to deal the tiles and the order of play.
Despite these similarities, there are many regional variations to the rules including rather different scoring systems, criteria for legal winning hands and private table rules which distinguish some variations as notably different styles of mahjong. In Chinese, the game was called 麻雀 —meaning sparrow—, still used in some southern dialects, it is said. It has been suggested that the name came from an evolution of an earlier card game called Ma-Tiao which mahjong is roughly adapted from. Most Mandarin-speaking Chinese now call the game 麻将. There are many varied versions of mahjong both in rules and tiles used. "Old Hong Kong Mahjong" uses the same basic features and rules as the majority of the different variations of the game. This form of Mahjong uses all of the tiles of the most available sets, includes no exotic complex rules, has a small set of scoring sets/hands with a simple scoring system. For these reasons Hong Kong mahjong is a suitable variation for the introduction of game rules and play and is the focus of this article.
Old Hong Kong Mahjong is played with a standard set of Mahjong tiles. Sets include counters, a marker to show who the dealer is and which round is being played; some sets include racks to hold the tiles if they are larger or smaller than standard tiles or have an odd shape. A set of Mahjong tiles has at least 136 tiles. Mahjong tiles are split into 3 categories: Suits and Bonuses. There are 3 suits of simples and in each suit the tiles are numbered from 1 to 9; the suits are bamboos and characters. There are 4 identical copies of each simples tile totaling 108 simples tiles; the bamboo suit is known as "sticks" or "bams" suit. The dots suit is known as the "wheels", "balls", or "coins" suit; the characters suit is known as the "cracks" or "numbers" suit since the top character is the Chinese number, the bottom character is the Chinese number "ten thousand". There are two different sets of Honors tiles: Dragons; the Winds are East, South and North. In Mahjong, East is the beginning; the Dragons are Red and White.
The white dragon has a blue or black frame on the face of the piece or in some sets is blank. These tiles have no numerical sequence like the simples. Like the simples, there are four identical copies of each Honors tile, for a total of 28 Honors tiles. There are two sets of Bonus tiles: Seasons; the flower and season tiles play a unique role in the mechanics of the game. When drawn, the Bonus tile is not added into a player's hand but are instead set aside and kept near the player's other tiles for scoring purposes should they win the hand, an extra tile is drawn in replacement of the Bonus tile. In addition, unlike the Simple and Honors tiles, there is only a single tile of each Bonus tile, so there are a total of four flower and four season tiles in the set; the tiles have a different artistic rendering of a specific type of season. It is not necessary to know the names or the Chinese characters of each bonus tile, only the number, as this is associated with a specific direction, the player receives bonus points when the Bonus tile matches the seat direction.
There is no relation between the bamboo suit of simple tiles. In traditional Chinese culture, the Four Gentlemen are the plum, orchid and chrysanthemum which are regarded as the representative plants of those seasons; the dealer is chosen by various means. For example, each player throws dice with the highest count taking the dealer position, second highest taking south etc. Or one player may shuffle them; each player randomly select one of these tiles and these tiles dictate their wind position. Each player sits down at their respective position at the table in positions of an inverted compass: East is dealer, the right of the dealer is South, across is West, the left is North; the order of play is traditi
Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)
The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō, is a conservative political party in Japan. The LDP has near continuously been in power since its foundation in 1955—a period called the 1955 System—with the exception of a period between 1993 and 1994, again from 2009 to 2012. In the 2012 election it regained control of government, it holds 291 seats in the lower house and 121 seats in the upper house, with the Komeito the governing coalition has the supermajority in both houses. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and many present and former LDP ministers are known members of Nippon Kaigi, a monarchist and negationist organization; the LDP is not to be confused with the now-defunct Liberal Party, which merged with the Democratic Party of Japan to become the Democratic Party, the main opposition party until 2017. The LDP is not to be confused with the Liberal Party, a minor social liberal party founded in 2016 and sitting in opposition; the LDP was formed in 1955 as a merger between two of Japan's political parties, the Liberal Party and the Japan Democratic Party, both right-wing conservative parties, as a united front against the popular Japan Socialist Party, now Social Democratic Party.
The party won the following elections, Japan's first conservative government with a majority was formed by 1955. It would hold majority government until 1993; the LDP began with reforming Japan's international relations, ranging from entry into the United Nations, to establishing diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. Its leaders in the 1950s made the LDP the main government party, in all the elections of the 1950s, the LDP won the majority vote, with the only other opposition coming from the left-wing politics, made up of the Japan Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency spent millions of dollars attempting to influence elections in Japan to favor the LDP against more leftist parties such as the Socialists and the Communists, although this was not revealed until the mid-1990s when it was exposed by The New York Times. For the majority of the 1960s, the LDP were led by Eisaku Satō, beginning with the hosting of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, ending in 1972 with Japanese neutrality in the Vietnam War and with the beginning of the Japanese asset price bubble.
By the end of the 1970s, the LDP went into its decline, where though it held the reins of government many scandals plagued the party, while the opposition gained momentum. In 1976, in the wake of the Lockheed bribery scandals, a handful of younger LDP Diet members broke away and established their own party, the New Liberal Club. A decade however, it was reabsorbed by the LDP. By the late 1970s, the Japan Socialist Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the Komeito along with the international community used major pressure to have Japan switch diplomatic ties from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China. During the 1980s, the LDP was responsible for Japan's unprecedented economic growth, the successful economy. By the early 1990s, the LDP's nearly four decades in power allowed it to establish a stable process of policy formation; this process would not have been possible if other parties had secured parliamentary majorities. LDP strength was based on an enduring, although not unchallenged, coalition of big business, small business, professional groups, other interests.
Elite bureaucrats collaborated with the party and interest groups in drafting and implementing policy. In a sense, the party's success was a result not of its internal strength but of its weakness, it lacked a strong, nationwide organization or consistent ideology with which to attract voters. Its leaders were decisive, charismatic, or popular, but it functioned efficiently as a locus for matching interest group money and votes with bureaucratic power and expertise. This arrangement resulted in corruption, but the party could claim credit for helping to create economic growth and a stable, middle-class Japan, but by 1993, the end of the miracle economy and other reasons led to the LDP losing its majority in that year's general election. Seven opposition parties—including several formed by LDP dissidents—formed a government headed by LDP dissident Morihiro Hosokawa of the Japan New Party. However, the LDP was still far and away the largest party in the House of Representatives, with well over 200 seats.
In 1994, the Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake left the ruling coalition, joining the LDP in the opposition. The remaining members of the coalition tried to stay in power as a makeshift minority government, but this failed when the LDP and the Socialists, bitter rivals for 40 years, formed a majority coalition; the new government was dominated by the LDP, but it allowed a Socialist to occupy the Prime Minister's chair until 1996, when the LDP's Ryutaro Hashimoto took over. In the 1996 election, the LDP made some gains, but was still 12 seats short of a majority. However, no other party could form a government, Hashimoto formed a solidly LDP minority government. Through a series of floor-crossings, the LDP regained its majority within a year; the party was unopposed until 1998, when the opposition Democratic Party of Japan was formed. This marked the beginning of the opposing parties' gains in momentum in the 2003 and 2004 Parliamentary Elec
Motorcycle speedway referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. The motorcycles are specialist machines which have no brakes. Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding or broadsiding into the bends. On the straight sections of the track the motorcycles reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. There are now both domestic and international competitions in a number of countries including the Speedway World Cup whilst the highest overall scoring individual in the Speedway Grand Prix events is pronounced the world champion. Speedway is popular in Central and Northern Europe and to a lesser extent in Australia and North America. A variant of track racing, speedway is administered internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme. Domestic speedway events are regulated by FIM affiliated national motor sport federations; the early history of speedway race meetings is a subject of much controversy.
There is evidence to show that meetings were held on small dirt tracks in Australia and the United States before World War I. On the 13th November 1905 motorcycle racing was held at the Newcastle NSW Rugby Ground, a distance of 440 yards. American rider named Don Johns was known to have used broadsiding before 1914, it was said that he would ride the entire race course wide open, throwing great showers of dirt into the air at each turn. By the early 1920s, Johns' style of cornering was followed in the US – where it was called "Short Track Racing" – by riders such as Albert "Shrimp" Burns, Maldwyn Jones and Eddie Brinck. Motorcycle Speedway can be traced back to the early 1920s. One track that staged speedway, amongst others, was at the West Maitland Showground, whose first speedway meeting was staged on December 15, 1923; this track had a motorcycle riding entrepreneur as its Secretary and his personal account has him inviting his friends and their associates to do a few laps one Sunday morning, the noise attracted the attention of the Showground committee and approval to race at the “Electric Light Festival “ was won.
Motorcycle racing under lights was a huge success and its promoter was New Zealand born John S Hoskins. These pioneers introduced the Speedway signatures of No Left Footpeg and the Steel Shoe fashioned from worn coal shovels, manufactured in this Steel region. Following the success of Maitland, Speedway meetings were conducted at Newcastle Showground in 1924; these events were successful and led to the construction of Newcastle Speedway off Darling St, Hamilton. Johnnie Hoskins became the Secretary of Newcastle Speedway Ltd; the Newcastle Herald reports the Grand Opening on the 14/11/1925 attracted an audience of 42,000 at that time it was one-third of Newcastle’s entire population. After Maitland, Newcastle Showground is the second oldest Motorcycle Speedway track in the world. However, its first recorded motorcycle race was much earlier in 1908; the first Australian Motorcycle Speedway Championship was held at Newcastle Showground in 1926. It was won by American rider Cec Brown. Visiting English and American racers were common, for they were paid showmen winning a year’s salary in just one night.
It was successful, so Newcastle Showground held the championship again in 1927. Fitting that Newcastle Showground held the first National Speedway Championship anywhere in the world. In 1926 Johnnie Hoskins took his Speedway show to Sydney’s Royal Showground. A wet Sydney summer nearly sent Hoskins broke, so he took the show on the road to Perth, where one good season made him wealthy again, he and his riders decided to take the show to England as the word had spread about this exiting sport. 14th April 1928, Johnnie Hoskins,13 Australian Riders and their motorcycles sailed from Perth on the passenger ship Oronsay to introduce Speedway Solo motorcycle racing to England, the rest is History. The first meeting in the United Kingdom took place at High Beech on 19 February 1928. There are, claims that meetings were held in 1927 at Camberley and Droylsden, Lancashire. Despite being described as "the first British Dirt Track meeting" at the time, the meeting at Camberley on 7 May 1927 differed in that the races were held in a clockwise direction.
Races at Droylsden were held in an anti-clockwise direction but it is accepted that the sport arrived in the United Kingdom when Australians Billy Galloway and Keith McKay arrived with the intention of introducing speedway to the Northern Hemisphere. Both featured in the 1928 High Beech meeting; the first speedway meeting in the UK to feature bikes with no brakes and broadsiding round corners on loose dirt was the third meeting held at High Beech on 9 April 1928, where Colin Watson, Alf Medcalf and "Digger" Pugh demonstrated the art for the first time in the UK. Proto speedway was staged in Glasgow at the Olympic Stadium on April 9, 1928 and the first professional meeting was staged at Celtic Park on April 28, 1928; the first meeting in Wales was staged at Cardiff White City on Boxing Day 1928. In the 1928/29 season at the Melbourne Exhibition Speedway, Australian Colin Stewart won the prestigious Silver Gauntlet, which required the rider to win the feature race 10 times in one season, he won it 12 times.
He achieved success at an international level, racing for Southampton Saints in 1929 and captained Glasgow in the Northern League in 1930 before moving to Wembley Lions in 1931, for whom he rode in just four matches, averaging 4.00 points per match. He