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27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey

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More than one-fourth of Japanese municipalities have expressed concerns about possible future problems resulting from a surge in the number of foreign visitors to the country, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.

While the central government has seen the tourism boom in recent years as a catalyst for economic growth, the survey underscored confusion among local governments and people unfamiliar with treating guests from abroad.

In the poll, 465 municipalities, or 27 percent of the total, said they worry that problems may occur in the future, such as traffic jams, noise issues and trespassing on private property.

More than half of them attributed their concerns to the lack of personnel who speak foreign languages.

The city of Fukui said it has yet to establish measures to contact foreigners traveling there in case of emergencies.

Ninety-three municipalities, or 5 percent, said they have already faced problems due to foreign tourists. Many of them are located in areas where cruise ships arrive from abroad, including Tokyo and some prefectures in western and southwestern Japan.

Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture is one of them. With a growing number of cruise ships making port calls, the island government is struggling to address such issues as the lack of taxis and buses.

The number of affected cities, towns and villages could increase next year when Japan sees an influx of foreign visitors for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Meanwhile, 860 municipalities, or 50 percent, said they do not believe they will have problems, with many of them citing a relatively small number of foreign visitors.

The survey was conducted between May and July, covering 1,741 municipalities nationwide, 99 percent of which responded.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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More than half of them attributed their concerns to the lack of personnel who speak foreign languages.

AKA, the dreaded "gaijin complex". They want the money, without any headaches, or need to educate themselves or adapt to foreign influences in their communities.

16 ( +34 / -18 )

They want the money, without any headaches

And that differs from the rest of humanity how?

And how do you know they want the tourists? They seek to be indicating they may not.

-6 ( +20 / -26 )

Hardly unique to Japan, though the usual suspects will make it out to be.

Multiple countries around the world are dealing with massive influx of tourists and the headaches such things cause. Venice as one example has seriously been cracking down

It is a very legitimate concern.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

This concern is good. Without it these municipalities will not take steps to be prepared for eventual problems the will normally come. Especially translators when medical problems occur. Regular stuff... no big deal, but life and death situations, they need to be prepared. These Travel and Cruise companies need to help the municipalities in being prepared if they're going to unload a bunch of people speaking all sorts of languages.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

A legitimate concern Yubaru, and maybe not as negative as you think.

By their own doing or by circumstance, Japanese municipalities have little experience interacting with other cultures.

Not to mention Japans an aging country and most people staffing city projects are probably up there too.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

These municipalities probably see no profit in tourists as they might actually have to spend money accomadating them.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

they worry that problems may occur in the future, such as traffic jams, noise issues and trespassing on private property.

With Japan ranked as the noisiest country in the world by WHO I don't think they have to worry too much about the troublesome gaijin causing the 2nd one.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

A legitimate concern Yubaru, and maybe not as negative as you think.

Okinawa gets over 10,000,000 tourists per year, of that, over 3,000,000 are foreigners. Some of the elected members of the city council, where I live, have stated openly, that "they love the money these tourists bring", but they dont want the problems associated with accommodating them!

They openly court tourists to come, yet they do not want to spend any tax money, other than advertising to welcome them, on assistance services.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

One thing openly missing from this article is the number of domestic tourists that are travelling more within Japan who are putting serious stress on many municipalities as well.

Miyako and Ishigaki are popular in Japan, and increasing so, due to LCC's, that more and more Japanese are travelling there and causing loads of problems as well.

They openly appeal to tourists, but they want more money from the government to deal with them.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Just wait one more year. When the Olympics are over the surge in foreign tourists will subside and hotel rates will go down to fill empty rooms.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Why do they think it is only foreigners being noisy? Been here for over 35 years. Still dealing with loud kids playing outside during the day, inside at night (Not a problem for me. Kids should enjoy themselves) Bozosokus all hours of the night. street racers, loud speakers blaring (politicians), neighbors who need their TV at full blast, the neighbor practicing their musical instruments late into the night, just to name a few. So why is it always the "Gaijin" the causes noise? Then you have the drunks singing loudly on their way home through the narrow (Echoing) streets! Drunks peeing in public. Actually the foreigners where I live have more respect and consideration for their neighbors then most Japanese. I keep my yard nice an clean while my Japanese neighbors yards are trashed. I could go on but I'll stop their.

32 ( +37 / -5 )

AKA, the dreaded "gaijin complex". They want the money, without any headaches, or need to educate themselves or adapt to foreign influences in their communities.

agree.

Lot of municipalities becoming ghost town lately with abandoned school, hospital and houses, while others will follow due population decline. Do they ever concern about that at all?

exactly.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

So, this is what they worry might happen:

said they worry that problems may occur in the future, such as traffic jams, noise issues and trespassing on private property.

and these are the actual problems:

the lack of personnel who speak foreign languages

the lack of taxis and buses.

Of course, if they fix the actual problems, then the potential problems won't arise.

But hey, what do I know? They're the professionals.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Tourist related industry, employ people who speak multiple languages or at least translate the most important information for your service.

I think airlines, cruises and immigration could do better in educating on a few things.

Of course its a generalization but you have two kinds of tourists in general though..

Those who have a genuine interest in Japan, do a little language and culture research before they come, have a plan, generally traveling as a couple or family, may have a few little misunderstandings.. but get through just fine.

Then you have the other kind, big tour groups either on a plane or cruise ship, come with empty suitcases, they are here for cosmetics, medicine, Uniqlo and only a passing interest in the country but mostly came because its close.. now its not the people themselves that is the issue but the tour companies that don't give cultural guidance, park tour busses in the wrong places, noisy in hotels (several very annoying experiences on that one...) and don't really do anything to encourage better behavior.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

But hey, what do I know? They're the professionals.

Here is the root of the problem, they are most definitely NOT professionals. The people who work in public administration positions here, aka koumuin, were hired because they could pass a test.

They literally get OJT and are moved around every couple of years, to different sections, gaining experience on how to push paperwork through the bureaucracy. They exist because of the taxpayers, and yet far too many expect that the people THEY are working for should submit to their higher intelligence!

If the private sector was run like a public office here, EVERYONE would be bankrupt!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

When it comes to worries about not having enough people that speak a foreign language, that is just a normal concern. The same way when you go to the non tourist areas in Mexico and many countries in South America. Many people don’t speak anything other than Spanish or Portuguese.

I personally think it’s up to the visitor to try and know how to say something in the language for where they will travel. When I was a kid and would travel with my parents, they didn’t expect to run into English speakers in countries that don’t primarily speak English so you taught yourself some key phrases and used a phrase book. These days we have apps for that.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

One thing openly missing from this article is the number of domestic tourists that are travelling more within Japan who are putting serious stress on many municipalities as well.

That will only be true for Okinawa and maybe certain parts of Hokkaido, and that will be due to LCCs. Most places reachable by car will have seen a large fall in Japanese tourists since the Bubble. Onsen towns, seaside towns, places in the mountains like Yatsugatake. Some of them were overbuilt and are now seriously run down due to lack of trade.

I strongly agree with the comment about most town hall workers being glorified pen pushers with no actual expertise. As a cyclist and hiker, I strongly suspect the public employees promoting cycling and hiking tourism in Nagano never go cycling or hiking themselves. Their cycling map tells people to ride through easily avoided tunnels. I translate mostly technical documents for my job and wouldn't last five minutes if I had no interest in technology.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

problems may occur in the future, such as traffic jams, noise issues and trespassing on private property.

Their reasons seem very petty.

They want to blame foreigners for traffic jams? Most foreigners who come to Japan use public transport.

I have no idea why they are concerned about trespassing. Do they believe foreigners are going to walk into their yard?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

You'd think this is 2019 but not in Japan. Might as well get rid of those ALT's and English programs at schools across the country coz so far it all have accomplished nothing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Okinawa gets over 10,000,000 tourists per year...

whoa dude that # sounds off....if thats true then Okinawa would not be the poorest prefecture in Japan.

10 million x hotels x air BNB x taxis x bus x local vendors x...etc etc....huge local revenues

thats huge numbers for biz....10 million? thats like a million or more a month.. that number sounds too big

3 ( +4 / -1 )

hey want to blame foreigners for traffic jams? Most foreigners who come to Japan use public transport.

Foreigners who come to Japan uses tour buses. Too many to be in fact in Kyoto causing unprecedented traffic jams. Other rural areas which has limited access roads are experiencing this as well.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

the over tourism has been causing many problems for Japan. the good news is that the koreans are doing a big favor by not coming!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

if that number is true then outside real estate and air bnb would be coming in droves to Oki to invest. Poorest prefecture in Japan...low rents, buying up all the property. 10 million? I need to check this out

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Governments see tourists as merely cash cows, without looking at the consequences of poorly managed tourism. if you live or work in an area with a lot of tourists it can be a nightmare, impacting on the residents and community, as well as businesses.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Those who have a genuine interest in Japan, do a little language and culture research before they come, have a plan, generally traveling as a couple or family, may have a few little misunderstandings.. but get through just fine.

And that's the key to it. Before we come to Japan my wife and I always do our research. Itinerary, bus timetables, train timetables, how to get from A to B and back again. I brush up on my Japanese, which I speak enough of to be able to perform basic transactions - hotels, stations, shops, asking (and understanding) directions in the street, etcetera. Even cracking the occasional joke. For when my Japanese language abilities aren't up to it, my phone has two language apps and a couple of dictionaries on it. I'll check something out before I speak if need be. I don't just waltz into Japan (or any other country) expecting the natives to speak my language. We have never had a real problem getting around, which we do for two and a half to three weeks at a time, off the beaten track as well as on it. A few little understandings don't matter - as long as it's not life or death, they're just part of the charm of travelling. And I've never had any Japanese person run away from me rather than speak to me.

I think the "fretting" is probably unnecessary, and that if, as hoped, the tourism boom does spread to areas of Japan that aren't quite so accustomed to tourists, the locals will adapt. I also hope that the numbers of tourists don't increase to the level that's ruined the appeal of so many European cities.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Governments see tourists as merely cash cows, without looking at the consequences of poorly managed tourism. if you live or work in an area with a lot of tourists it can be a nightmare, impacting on the residents and community, as well as businesses.

They dont have any other choice. The demographics are so messed up now, there is no other business revenue. I dont agree tourism is such a headache; Gotemba seems to handle it ok. How many thousands are climbing Mt. Fuji this month?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

whoa dude that # sounds off....if thats true then Okinawa would not be the poorest prefecture in Japan.

10 million x hotels x air BNB x taxis x bus x local vendors x...etc etc....huge local revenues

thats huge numbers for biz....10 million? thats like a million or more a month.. that number sounds too big

We have around 500 hotels and resorts here, including 5 Hiltons, 2, (soon to be 3) Hyatt-Regency's, a Mariott resort, Club Med, Sheraton Resort, and the only Hale Kulani luxury resort hotel outside of Hawaii.

It's not off, and here are the numbers for 2017, the first year Okinawa topped Hawaii as a tourist destination!

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/fnn20180426001/okinawa-tops-hawaii-as-tourist-destination.html

Okinawa is not the poorest prefecture in Japan any longer. Nara now ranks lower than Okinawa (per capita) and it is still 46 out of 47.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_prefectures_by_GDP_per_capita

2 ( +2 / -0 )

if that number is true then outside real estate and air bnb would be coming in droves to Oki to invest. Poorest prefecture in Japan...low rents, buying up all the property. 10 million? I need to check this out

This is part of the problem I alluded to earlier. Miyako and Ishigaki have many people from mainland building homes down there, yet the people pay no taxes locally, because they never change their address or residence to Ishigaki or Miyako, so all their tax money gets funneled back to where ever they came from in mainland.

BUT these people use the local hospitals, town offices and other services as well, but they pay no taxes, so all these services are funded locally. If it is once or two people that's one thing, but its a hell of a lot more than that!

There are many other problems like this as well!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

those are some huge numbers. whats real estate like there? still cheap? need to buy up some air bnb if thats the case

thats also a huge tax influx, who is getting that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

so all their tax money gets funneled back to where ever they came from in mainland.

sounds like a local politician problem. need to change the law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hardly unique to Japan, though the usual suspects will make it out to be.

> Multiple countries around the world are dealing with massive influx of tourists and the headaches such things cause. Venice as one example has seriously been cracking down

Over tourism can surely bring big issues in order to deal with many people coming at the same time, but Japan is still far from having a truly massive influx of tourists compared to other more popular destinations. In 2018, France saw 90 million international tourist arrivals, Spain 83 million, Italy 62 million, US 80 million, China 63 million, Mexico 41 million. Japan? Well a mere 30 million.

So if they are already crying about it with ridiculous reasons (like the traffic jam BS, Japan has traffic jam without the tourists), what will they say if they have a truly massive influx of tourists?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

It's easy to see some people have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to this topic. I've lived and worked with a local government that is a major port town and have seen first hand the problems arising. When a boat arrives, buses from all over the prefecture arrive and greatly congest traffic. The problem is this typically happens during rush hour when everyone is going and returning from work. Passengers from the boat tend to crowd convenience stores or markets and lay or sit around the parking or front doors throwing their trash everywhere and crowding the place as they wait throughout the day. It takes a lot of volunteers or workers to help assist them at the stations or at the city office. Then when most of them just use our city as a jumping point to see other more important areas, our city barely sees any money for it and we lose more than we gained. My local government has actually stopped trying to find workers or volunteers for the cruises and have actually limited the amount coming in.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Yubaru

We have around 500 hotels and resorts here, including 5 Hiltons, 2, (soon to be 3) Hyatt-Regency's, a Mariott resort, Club Med, Sheraton Resort, and the only Hale Kulani luxury resort hotel outside of Hawaii.

You may have highlighted one problem there, that tourists are coming but their money is going to foreign owned venues.

It seems the tourist are actually coming to "America in Japan", if you follow. The experience being of a Hilton or Hyatt.

The big cruise ships are proving unpopular in Europe primarily because their passengers aren't spending money as they sleep and eat on the boats, just stressing local facilities are they get on to take their obligatory instagram photos.

The same photos as the last 10,000 people took.

The 10m figure appear correct according to Bloomberg with 80 per cent of its foreign visitors come from Greater China and South Korea which surprised me.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@daito_hak

France, Spain, Italy, US ...

Roads are all wider. Cafes bigger. US everything bigger.

Can't compare with Japanese property densities.

I don't know, if you read the news about just about every tourist "success" story these days, the locals are crying out for it to stop.

Japan should be reading up about what is going on in Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice etc and just saying no.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No reason to overwhelm the nation with tourists. They could always turn them back.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I fully understand that boom places, Kyoto, cruise stopoffs etc. have big problems. The issue is why those problems are being projected onto other towns that will never see the same level of influx.

In fairness to them, half the places polled said they weren't worried. The story however has chosen to focus on the quarter who answered yes. I find it hard to believe that as many as 465 places in Japan are at danger from any serious influx of foreign tourists. Giving attention to their imaginary concerns does a disservice to the places that are struggling to cope with actual tourists here already.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

More than 87% of the tourists to Kyoto are domestic tourists, with tourism raising ¥1 trillion a year.

According to a survey by the city, 7.4 million foreign guests traveled to Kyoto in 2017, a more than fivefold increase from 2012. Including domestic tourists, the city hosted 53.6 million visitors in 2017, dwarfing its population of 1.5 million.

Tourist spending in Japan is ¥5 trillion per year. That is equivalent to the defense spending.

PM Abe wants 60 million tourists.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Japan-gets-more-than-it-bargained-for-with-tourist-boom

Kyoto could introduce its own improvements to help the life of the locals. Free transit buses from JR station to all the popular destinations, would help free up the public transit. More lockers at the station to encourage not to travel with backpacks and suitcases. Banning private cars in the city center during the daytime hours. Eco buses.

AirB&B should be restricted to private owners only because too many landlords are converting from rented to AirB&B with a loss of rental properties to the local communities. Probably AirB&B should be banned in cities like Kyoto. This is also happening in other major cities like New York, London with landlords buying or converting the rental accommodation.

In Kobe, when the cruise ships with Chinese tourists arrive they flock to the local stores for mass shopping but the cruise ships with other tourists see little big spending in the city.

In return, hundreds of thousands of Japanese are tourists to overseas countries. It's not a one way channel.

Tourists to Japan by country

https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/#region-courtry

2 ( +4 / -2 )

27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan

So which one is primary concern?

Those municipalities have surge of foreign visitors but become lively and have good economy or just become ghost town like many municipalities in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Roads are all wider. Cafes bigger. US everything bigger.

If you are trying to find some explanations, please try to come up with something that makes sense. Roads or coffee shops size are irrelevant. Actually in Spain, France or Italy they are not that bigger than in Japan so your argument is void.

Can't compare with Japanese property densities.

What does that even mean? Tourism tends to concentrate on popular spots. Those locations happen to be also the ones where the population is already dense or where space is constrained, eg. Paris, Venice, etc. The tourists don't get somehow spread all over a country, so the overall country configuration is irrelevant.

I don't know, if you read the news about just about every tourist "success" story these days, the locals are crying out for it to stop.

Read properly my previous post. I specifically indicated that over tourism is problematic. What I am also saying is that this occurs in countries with way more tourists than in Japan. Yet in Japan, locals started to complain with relatively moderate tourism in comparison. And we all know the true reasons behind that....

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@nigelboy - Foreigners who come to Japan uses tour buses. Too many to be in fact in Kyoto causing unprecedented traffic jams. 

Is this the fault of the foreigners or the fault of the local and federal governments for failing to limit the amount of tour buses? Japan wants the tourist dollars but complain about the tourist’s presence. What a bunch of petty hypocrites!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Is this the fault of the foreigners or the fault of the local and federal governments for failing to limit the amount of tour buses? Japan wants the tourist dollars but complain about the tourist’s presence. What a bunch of petty hypocrites!

Is there a blame passed on to somebody on this survey that I’m not aware of. Did the municipality that answered the survey place any blame?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The tourist's conduct.

I've seen it with my own eyes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yubaru

It doesn’t matter that you claim some guy said that negative comment about foreigners.

Does that make us all like that? It’s kinda of a narrow minded imo.

Generally speaking with tourism, the government and associated big business are making most of the money.

It’s not a surprise that there’s greed and corruption and that not enough is being put back.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Over the years, we have been on quite a few tour buses in various locations, including the Japan Alps. I was the only foreigner on those buses. I don't think any of the other people even noticed.

There are two main seasons when the domestic tourists greatly increase, Spring and Autumn. Kyoto is still very nice during the snowy winter and much less tourist numbers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"More than half of them attributed their concerns to the lack of personnel who speak foreign languages." Perhaps they could ask why the multi-billion yen JET/AET/ALT system has produced such feeble results, or why the schools don't teach English, but instead 受験英語, which isn't even a language, or why there are no minimum standards or qualifications to work as an English instructor.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Disillusioned, “I have no idea why they are concerned about trespassing. Do they believe foreigners are going to walk into their yard?”

It happens a lot in certain areas. I’ve seen it myself when people are trying to get photos of themselves standing in Japanese gardens in front of Japanese architecture, which just happens to be someone’s home.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The vast majority of tourists, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai, are all from non English speaking countries.

English does not always help these people although I have been approached by quite a few for info and spoke some level of English.

In places like Kobe, the main store announcements are made in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English.

There are also online apps, I use one for Hyogo which makes announcements for disasters and weather problems to my smartphone in the language I want.

There are also very good smartphone apps for making translations including instant translation of signs which all work quite well. I point my smartphone at the sign and the app translates.

These days there are numerous websites and blogs on visiting Japan and how to deal with various situations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are the tourists groups any more noisy than the salarymen on a Friday night. Never seen a tourist collapsed on the street, train station or train. They are always drunk salarymen. I have only never the numbers here too.

Most of the main tourists spots in Kyoto banned the use of camera tripods and most have now banned the selfie stick too. Some temples have banned cameras/smartphone photography outright. Easting and drinking are banned in places.

We follow the rules of the place we visit but those breaking them are often the Japanese themselves. Maybe they can't read and understand all the English prohibiting signs? They need a smartphone app for that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

English? Most of the tourists today are from other asian countries. Many of them do not speak or understand English.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

OK, I wish these people from affected municipalities would come out and just say it.

It's the mainland Chinese tourists they don't want, paying or not.

What is it about the Japanese culture that stops them from saying how they truly feel, or what they really want to convey? There! Done! Less mainland Chinese tourists.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Noise-wise, the loud speaker cars and recycling trucks (my neighbor has apparently arranged for one to come into our dead end street early morning on the weekend and it wakes me up almost every time) are much more annoying then any tourist I've seen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's interesting to see how your focus shapes your reality.

A “27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey” title is more news worthy and pessimist than “50% of municipalities not concerned over surge in foreign visitors: survey"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I travel to South Korea, do they have announcement in Japanese language in their trains or is it deleted recently?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I have no idea why they are concerned about trespassing. Do they believe foreigners are going to walk into their yard?

Yes, because they do. People on holiday lose all common sense when they arrive at their destination. They seem to think their chosen area is merely a giant theme park for their amiusement, not a place where people live and work. I've seen tourists in Kyoto and Nara stand inside the porch of old houses so they can get a nice photo. Residents of Notting Hill in London are sick of tourists sitting on their doorstep and taking photos. People in Edinburgh complain of visitors looking through their windows, as do those of a particular village in Oxfordshire, who have bus loads of tousits dumped in their street to take photos but then come into their gardens, bang on their windows and even walk in their houses. Tourist buses are not the answer, they just jam the streets.

It's all there, documented online.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

's interesting to see how your focus shapes your reality. 

A “27% of municipalities concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey” title is more news worthy and pessimist than “50% of municipalities not concerned over surge in foreign visitors: survey"

Good point. Not really newsworthy if you analyze the details. As a footnote,

“The survey was conducted between May and July, covering 1,741 municipalities nationwide, “

‘1,741 municipalities nationwide’ is Kyodo’s magic number in regards to surveys. Other surveys have the exact same number.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@nigelboy

Its funny that you mentioned that number. Just doing a quick research you learn that Japan only has 1,719 municipalities. So where did the phantom 22 come from?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It isn’t ‘guests’ they’re worried about so much as the increasingly visible long-termers; would-be economic immigrants scouting the place on tourist visas having heard on the grapevine that Japan is raising the drawbridge. A generation ago, there were stadium sized crowds of Iranians and Nikkei Brazilians descending en masse and for whom familiarity bred a contempt that saw the drawbridge once more raised. Expect the same thing to eventually happen with the latest blow-ins.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have no idea why they are concerned about trespassing. Do they believe foreigners are going to walk into their yard?

You would be surprised how many homes in Japan look like tiny or large shrines. Even though I live here, I trespassed on someone's property just the other day in Kobe. There was this huge driveway leading up the mountain to what I thought was a shrine. All the different sections and the prayer room as well as the water fountain to wash your hands. Someone had to come out and tell me that it was private property as I was strolling along with my daughter taking pictures.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese government will issue 400,000 temporary worker visas. Should have taken better care of the Brazilian Japanese, so many gave up and returned home.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@oyatoi

The Nikkei Brazilians were brought here to work in factories during a labor shortage. At the time there were no jobs in Brazil and the Japanese needed more workers. The government reached out to them, made them promises, and then brought them here. The Japanese people born in Brazil were still viewed as foreigners by the local communities so the government decided to get rid of them. The biggest complaint was that they didn’t act Japanese.

Then the government didn’t want them here after things stabilized. So they paid them about ¥500,000 to leave Japan. It’s kind of similar to now where people don’t want to do factory or farm work so they are trying to attract foreigners to come over and handle that kind of work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What a bunch of scared and insecure people. They sure don't seem to mind the money that the tourism provides.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A generation ago, there were stadium sized crowds of Iranians and Nikkei Brazilians descending en masse and for whom familiarity bred a contempt that saw the drawbridge once more raised. Expect the same thing to eventually happen with the latest blow-ins.

I arrived on the tail end of that era, yes there were more foreigners here then it seemed, parks packed with Iranians, doing who knows what, but once the bubble crashed, all of the foreigners were out. That could easily repeat again if there was a regime change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lets not exclude the hate speech influence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have many Koreans and Chinese living in Japan. They have their schools in Japan. They are bilingual. Recruit interpreters either paid or volunteer from the schools.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a bunch of scared and insecure people. They sure don't seem to mind the money that the tourism provides.

Most local people who are inconvenienced by tourists don't get a sniff of the money. Big businesses and air bnb landlords don't live where the tourists go. A few cafes and conbinis will get an incease in sales, but not many others.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But everyone benefits of the collection of the various taxes, sales/income/business. Without tourism places like Kyoto, Nara would just die away.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To put it another way:

73% of municipalities not at all concerned over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Places like Kyoto with only 1.5 million people couldn't afford to run the city without the tourist yen.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope more places limit tourism. It's destroying the soul of the cities it infests. Not just in Japan but all over the world. Less is more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is absolutely great news! But most comments are from readers who misunderstood and are reacting negatively because they didn’t think about the numbers carefully.

Here is a better way to explain the results of the survey.

A whopping 75% don’t expect to have any problems, and an amazing 95% said they have NOT faced any problems due to foreign tourists.

So, what’s the point of this article? It’s a non-issue, and not a problem. 75% not expecting any problems is a great sign.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Overtourism?

The solution is to limit the number of arrivals - simple enough...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

> This is absolutely great news! But most comments are from readers who misunderstood and are reacting negatively because they didn’t think about the numbers carefully.

Here is a better way to explain the results of the survey.

A whopping 75% don’t expect to have any problems, and an amazing 95% said they have NOT faced any problems due to foreign tourists.

So, what’s the point of this article? It’s a non-issue, and not a problem. 75% not expecting any problems is a great sign.

You obviously are unfamiliar with how Japanese government agencies put out statistical information..

Sure some people COULD look at it as you write it here, however, one can not assume that the 75% have not faced any problems.

This article is misleading as it does not provide the statistics/information regarding the the rest of the respondents

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I personally think 80% or more of Japan won't see much, if any at all, rise in tourism due to the aftermath of the Olympic Games 2020.

That means the remaining 20% will have to cope with the influx of mass tourism and as always it will be the local residents that will have the pay the price while Shinzo Abe and his benefactors reap the profits.

Then in about 10-15 years time tourists won't come to Japan anymore complaining it has become too crowded and stating it has completely lost it's charm.

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@yubaru: You obviously are unfamiliar with how Japanese government agencies put out statistical information.

Unfortunately I do. That’s why I made the comment. They ask the answers as a “choose one” resulting in too much reductionism in the results. The media is complicit, and if there was a way to make it look bad, they would. There was no bad news, so they used the bad data in a negative light, thus twisting the story to fit a narrative.

If the Nikkei closes down, it “closed lower” but if the NYSE drops by the same amount, it “faced a giant drop.” People never bother to look and think about the numbers, only the words.

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Build it and they will come. Japan has built it.

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Unfortunately I do. That’s why I made the comment. They ask the answers as a “choose one” resulting in too much reductionism in the results. 

That is based upon the assumption that you know what the survey was and how the questions were asked.

You can not just make a leap in logic and extrapolate that the remaining 75% had no problems.

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Then in about 10-15 years time tourists won't come to Japan anymore complaining it has become too crowded and stating it has completely lost it's charm.

Could be true, the post olympic dilemma is a scary one. Tourism might just be a short term gimmick. Maybe Abe sees the writing on the wall and Japan will become less protectionist in some sectors, making Japan a more attractive place for foreigners to live and invest due to availability of goods and services at reasonable prices? Its what is missing in Japan at the moment.

Nice nature and ok weather, great infrastructure, no gun violence. The problem now is that Japan is closed in many ways. Carefully opening it up....might be the key?

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Places like Kyoto with only 1.5 million people couldn't afford to run the city without the tourist yen.

Indeed, but unmanaged tourism, which Japan has, kills communities, forces up property rents/prices, increases traffic, has a detrimental environmental impact and generally makes life intolerable for those who live in these areas. Why do you think so many cities are now fighting back against tourist hoards - both residents and local authorities are in agreement.

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Typical Japan. Worrying about something inevitable.

How about Japan try something different this time?

Try to adapt to the changes, improve and evolve?! MIND BLOWN!!!!!

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While the central government has seen the tourism boom in recent years as a catalyst for economic growth, the survey underscored confusion among local governments and people unfamiliar with treating guests from abroad.

Then its time for municipalities and local governments to have town hall meetings with foreigners to create some cultural exchange programs monthly, conversational English and or even multilingual classes, educate people that the majority of them want the same thing as the locals: peace, understanding and living together in harmony will reduce the angst and xenophobia.

In the poll, 465 municipalities, or 27 percent of the total, said they worry that problems may occur in the future, such as traffic jams, noise issues and trespassing on private property.

That will probably happen and it’s inevitable, but going back to what I was saying earlier, as long as both sides can meet, foreigners living in Japan learn the language and Japanese on conversational English, a lot of these fears can be extinguished. But the time of Japan being a once isolated and closed country, those days are gone, Japan has a lot to offer, it’s culture and history attractive to people all over the world including other parts of Asia, this is the price to pay for being part of the international community. It should be embraced and celebrated and not shunned.

More than half of them attributed their concerns to the lack of personnel who speak foreign languages.

Now it is time for Japan to learn how to speak English, at least the conversational part and not grammar. Change comes to us all, even Japan.

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The majority of tourists and even the foreigners living in Japan are not from English speaking countries.

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less protectionist in some sectors

Do not confuse protectionism with nationalism, protectionism is the only safety measure countries have against globalists and their political servants who don't care about erasing a country's culture and identity as long as they get money and power.

Mass tourism is one of the inventions of globalists and they will go to great length to promote it

Its what is missing in Japan at the moment.

Japan doesn't need more foreign residents or tourists.

The problem now is that Japan is closed in many ways.

The fact that Japan is closed off is what makes it beautiful in the first place, let's keep in that way.

Then its time for municipalities and local governments to have town hall meetings with foreigners to create some cultural exchange programs monthly, conversational English and or even multilingual classes,

Japanese people should never be forced to learn other languages and cultures in their own country that's complete nonsense.

What would you say if Trump would ask this from American citizens in the US?

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The fact that Japan is closed off is what makes it beautiful in the first place, let's keep in that way.

That would only the decision made by the Japanese only, and actually living here but PM Abe intends to increase the tourist numbers.

Japan isn't closed off and anyone with the required visa or exemption are visit.

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That would only the decision made by the Japanese only, and actually living here but PM Abe intends to increase the tourist numbers.

Exactly the Japanese people didn't ask for the new mass tourism and immigration policies, the LDP didn't mention this in their program prior to the elections and rushed these measures through diet in a record pace without any real debate.

Japan isn't closed off and anyone with the required visa or exemption are visit.

Indeed not for people with a required visa and exemption and rightly so but I was rather talking about being closed off from mass tourism and immigration which I hope will stay the case in the future.

However it seems Abe and his band of loons at LDP have different plans for Japan which is very sad indeed.

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In the more than 25 years I have lived here, the central and prefecture governments have always been seeking ways to increase the foreign tourists numbers.

Two Olympic events. Winter Olympic 1998. Tokyo next year. World Cup football. Rugby.

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In the more than 25 years I have lived here, the central and prefecture governments have always been seeking ways to increase the foreign tourists numbers.

Yes but with a healthy balance between foreign tourists and local residents which is now no longer the case and this will get only worse in the future.

Untill the early 2000's a steady inlfux of 5 million foreign tourists came in to Japan and from 2010 onwards we were at 10 million foreign tourists which were still sustainable numbers.

I don't recall Japan having financial problems at that time which justifies an increased policy by LDP to attract the numbers we have today at a staggering 28 million foreign tourists with LDP aiming at 60 million foreign tourist annually after the Olympics 2020 and the completion of the mega casino resorts.

Don't forget the majority of these 60 million tourists will visit the same places over and over again, Tokyo and especially Kyoto will have it the worst  and I truly weep for the local residents who live in the touristic hotspots because they didn't ask for this at all and their quality of life will drop significantly without seeing any profit.

The profits will go to LDP and their "supporters" such as APA and multi-nationals not to local businesses and residents they will just have to dissapear.

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Mister X

didn't you post you live in Belgium with your J-wife?

Tourists can be encouraged to visit other great parts of japan. Hokkaido, Kyushu, Tottori.

87% of the total visitors to Kyoto are domestic Japanese.

Okinawa has one of the highest rates of foreign tourists as well as 63% of the municipalities stated there were no problems or concerns as indicated by the post.

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Do not confuse protectionism with nationalism, protectionism is the only safety measure countries have against globalists and their political servants who don't care about erasing a country's culture and identity as long as they get money and power.

Mass tourism is one of the inventions of globalists and they will go to great length to promote it

But there's no harm in being concerned if the facilities are not adequate enough for incoming visitors.

It's all about preparation. Which is essential, as the future will involve newcomers to this marvellous country.

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The majority of tourists and even the foreigners living in Japan are not from English speaking countries.

As usual, you just honed in on that part only. Please go back and read the entire thing again.

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didn't you post you live in Belgium with your J-wife?

Yes I do and I stay on extended holidays with my wife in Japan annually together with my family-in-law and social network who give me a lot of feedback of what is currently happening in Japan.

Does this somehow bar me from the right to speak up against the negative consequences of mass tourism in Japan or the way LDP promotes it seeing as it affects a country and people I care about ?

Tourists can be encouraged to visit other great parts of japan. Hokkaido, Kyushu, Tottori.

I hear this argument from time to time but in reality it doesn't work like that at all unless you implement tourist caps in the overcrowded areas.

Most people will only visit Japan once and then they just want to see the big famous tourist spots in Tokyo and Kyoto and a few others on the side and who can blame them ?

87% of the total visitors to Kyoto are domestic Japanese.

I do believe these numbers are a little dated

A survey of 36 major Kyoto city hotels showed that foreigners accounted for 40.5 percent of their total guests in 2017, the highest figure recorded since the survey began in 2014.The survey was conducted by the Kyoto City Tourism Association and released on Feb. 28. 2018

I also recall reading an article on this very site and Japan Times where people in Kyoto where complaining they did not get on time for work anymore seeing as foreing tourists, mostly Chinese, were clogging up public transport.

Okinawa has one of the highest rates of foreign tourists as well as 63% of the municipalities stated there were no problems or concerns as indicated by the post.

Percentage wise they have nowhere near the number of foreign tourists as mainland Japan and they are far less concentrated.

Okinawa is however doing their best to attract more foreing tourists by opening up offices in India to convince people to spend their honeymoon in Okinawa and if and when they will come in big numbers then we can truly compare the situation with mainland Japan.

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Mister X

Does this somehow bar me from the right to speak up against the negative consequences of mass tourism in Japan or the way LDP promotes it seeing as it affects a country and people I care about ?

No it does not. But there is the situation of the people who live here 24/7 nationals and foreigners. I have heard of anyone complaining about tourism and 70% of the post poll also same the same.

What the mass tourism within the EU does that not also cause you problems?

How do you make tourists caps for say like Kyoto when nearly 90% of the visitors are actually Japanese. Can't stop going there. Against the constitution, freedom of movement.

Places like Arima in Kobe attract millions of Japanese visitors for the very expensive ryokans and onsens.

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bass4funk

As usual, you just honed in on that part only. Please go back and read the entire thing again.

What has the Japanese learning English for tourism to do with it, when the vast majority of tourists don't speak it?

Chinese first, then Korean and then Vietnamese....

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What has the Japanese learning English for tourism to do with it, when the vast majority of tourists don't speak it?

Again you’re not reading what I wrote, you are focusing only on what “you” want to see.

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No it does not. But there is the situation of the people who live here 24/7 nationals and foreigners. I have heard of anyone complaining about tourism and

But I do have heard a lot of complaints in Japan amongst the Japanese people and expats whom I personally know and I have read many articles, amongst which some on this very site, concerning problems stemming from mass tourism and the way LDP is promoting it.

70% of the post poll also same the same.

If you do a poll amongst local residents  who actually live in the overcrowded tourist spots I can assure you the results will be quite different as opposed to some municipalities who have not encountered the phenomenon yet and are just thinking about the money it might bring in without being fully aware of the negative impact on their territory and their residents.

How do you make tourists caps for say like Kyoto when nearly 90% of the visitors are actually Japanese. Can't stop going there. Against the constitution, freedom of movement.

That's exactly my point it would be very difficult to implement tourist caps for many reasons so the idea that you can somehow spread out the majority of the 60 million foreign tourists over the whole of Japan and prevent them from visiting the same places over and over again is merely an illusion.

Places like Arima in Kobe attract millions of Japanese visitors

Yest but these Japanese visitors have already visited the big tourist spots and are willing to go off the beaten track, the majority of the 60 million foreign tourists are not going to do that.

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Why not change the title to a more appropriate title and a more positive one at that.

"50% of municipalities are not concerned in the least over surge in foreign visitors in Japan: survey"

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Many people in all countries would be concerned about a surge in foreign visitors.

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The taught language in schools should from now, be Chinese...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh dear!

Wait till the Olympics comes................. and post Olympics

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