On February 21, The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) has released policy recommendations on how to promote the growth of Japan's tourist industry, and put them forward to the government leadership, top officials of the ruling political parties and others concerned.
Since the committee on tourism has established in 2004, Keidanren has promoted various initiatives to turn tourism into a major pillar of Japanese industry, driven by an urgent feeling that Japan must nurture new domestic businesses facing aging and declining birth society. Keidanren's new policy proposal targeted the new "basic program to realize national growth by tourism" which will be decided by the cabinet meeting until the end of March.
Under the previous program for 2007 through 2011, Japanese government failed to achieve its policy targets, such as the numbers of foreign visitors to Japan and overseas travelers. Keidanren has stressed in its proposal that the government must have strong sense of urgency to achieve its targets under the new program. Japanese government should set ambitious goals in the new program to show its strong political desire and governmental determination. Moreover, not to make these ambitious goals pie-in-the-sky, new program must contain innovative policy measures, which will be carried out by whole governmental sections.
In the policy proposal, Keidanren recommended Japanese government to improve comprehensive customer satisfaction of diplomatic establishments abroad and Japanese immigration control office which will be the first Japanese window for foreigners, more road signs to help foreign tourists, and making assignments of the Japan Tourism Agency and the Japan National Tourism Organization clear. Keidanren also set its strong will to promote nongovernmental diplomacy to invigorate international tourism.