The socioeconomic environment surrounding Japan is a formidable one, shaped by such factors as a significant population decline, aging society and long-term national debt equivalent to 170% of the GDP.
It is therefore important that we make effective use of our assets, such as human, technological and tourism resources, to ensure a sustainable future. Therefore, building a tourism nation with its capacity to revitalize regional economies, create job opportunities and increase bilateral international understanding, is a key component of Japan in the 21st century, and will only grow in importance as a national strategy.
The Hatoyama government, which was in power from September 2009 to June 2010, positioned tourism as a major economic growth area. Under the leadership of Minister Seiji Maehara, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism launched the MLIT Growth Strategy Council in October 2009 to examine concrete measures for the tourism growth strategy. In addition, the Office of Tourism Nation Promotion was launched in December 2009, with Minister Maehara as its head, establishing a unified government structure for pursuing tourism nation-building.
With this series of developments in mind, we focus on East Asian markets including China. The emphasis is on actions to promote inbound travel to Japan, with full PDCA cycle to verify the effectiveness of such actions, and on providing support to region-driven efforts to develop tourism destinations. We will continue to create tourism measures that produce results, in keeping with the mission to achieve the growth strategy.
The following sections take a general look at the Tourism Nation Promotion Basic Law and the Tourism Nation Promotion Basic Plan, which define the government’s policy on building a tourism nation.