Japan’s government announced on Tuesday that it is working on a plan to achieve its target of attracting 10 million foreign tourists this year. The new measures are scheduled to be finished this spring.
“In addition to revitalizing the economy, tourism is extremely important in promoting friendly ties with other countries,” transport minister Akihiro Ota said at the first meeting of a new task force. The new task force’s goal is to come up with programs to attract foreign visitors.
The working group is headed by Ota and composed of senior officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Together, they will discuss regarding the measures they can take in areas such as aviation, rail transport and city planning to allow foreign visitors to stay more comfortably in Japan, according to Kyodo news agency.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan rose to 8.37 million in 2012, the second-highest figure on record. The number of tourists has almost recovered to the level prior to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis.
However, the ministry set a target of nine million tourists that was not achieved, due to the territorial conflict Japan shares with China over a group of islands in the East China Sea.