The Japanese government is holding discussions with various ministries on how to double the annual number of foreign tourists from the current 10 million to 20 million in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday met with cabinet members and government officials and asked them to come up with measures to make it easier for foreign tourists to get around in Japan, TBS reported Saturday.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, in 2013, the number of foreign visitors to Japan was 10,364,000, an increase of 24% over 2012. The JNTO said the largest numbers of tourists came from the ASEAN countries, due to the weak yen and visa waiver programs, as well as South Korea, Taiwan and China, despite political tensions between Japan and those three countries.
Tourism officials have already started considering measures such as easier and faster access from Narita international airport to Tokyo; more flights into and out of Haneda airport; 24-hour bus, train and subway services in major urban areas; information in several foreign languages at popular tourism destinations; and more visa waiver programs.© Japan Today