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Visit Japan Campaign


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Ministry to sell foreign tourists on Japan

This is the "First Year of Japanese Tourism", according to a sales pitch of the transport ministry, which has launched a campaign to bring more foreign tourists to Japan.

The ministry secured its first budget in the coming fiscal year to advertise Japan in overseas media as a travel destination. The ministry will also set up a committee on global tourism strategy as early as next month. Transport minister Chikage Ogi will head the group, which will work with other ministries and the private sector.

The Visit Japan campaign will cost 2 billion yen, which will go mainly toward newspaper and magazine ads and TV commercials in five areas, including South Korea and Taiwan-two countries that send relatively large number of tourists to Japan.

The 4.77 million foreigners who visited Japan in 2001 numbered the equivalent of only 29 percent of the 16.22 million Japanese who traveled abroad during the same year.

The ministry's target is to increase the number of foreigners visiting Japan to more than 8 million by 2007, adding an expected 2.7 trillion yen to the economy and creating 156,000 additional jobs, ministry officials said.

The ministry hopes to make tourism a core industry that will play a key role in the Japanese economy in the coming century, they said.

If the ministry is to reach its target, however, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan must increase by more than 9 percent annually. Analysts say that goal will not be easy to achieve.

=> The Asahi Shimbun
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