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  • Tuesday, 31st March 2015
    In Japan Travel News,

    Overnight guests in Japan rose to record high in 2014

    New figures by the Japan Tourism Agency have highlighted that the number of overnight guests in Japan rose to a record high in 2014.

    Over the 12 months, both domestic and foreign tourists stayed a total of 472.32 million nights at hotels and inns, a rise of 1.4 per cent from the year before. Much of this increase was fuelled by a surge in international visitors, who stayed 44.82 million nights - up by a staggering 33.8 per cent when compared to 2013.

    This is in contrast to the number of domestic travellers, who decreased their overnight stays by 1.1 per cent; industry leaders have suggested that the rise in the consumption tax rate in April 2014 was a key factor in this.

    Dissecting the data further, it was those coming from Taiwan that topped the list, with 7.83 million overnight stays, while China came in second with 7.64 million - both were up by 26.6 per cent and 84.3 per cent respectively from the year before. In general, travellers from south-east Asia were on the rise due to the eased visa requirements put in place in recent months, while the expansion of duty-free items available in Japan also played a large part in attracting tourists.

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  • Thursday, 19th March 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Business In Japan,

    Michelle Obama discuss girls' educational reforms in Tokyo

    US First Lady Michelle Obama has arrived in Tokyo, visiting Japan for the first time, as part of a two-nation tour in Asia to promote girls' education on a global scale.

    Today (March 19th), Mrs Obama met with her Japanese counterpart Akie Abe to announce further plans on how the two countries could work together to help girls finish their education in still developing nations. Japan will be working with the Let Girls Learn initiative, which was recently launched by the Obamas, and the country will be offering 42 billion yen over three years for the cause.

    Japan and the US also agree that more assistance on supporting female education would have to be developed, so the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers will be working with the Peace Corps, the latter of which will be implementing the Let Girls Learn scheme. In all, the initiative will be helping girls attain goals that are often taken for granted in wealthy countries.

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  • Wednesday, 18th March 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Business In Japan, Japan Travel News,

    Small Japanese town relying on manga to boost tourism

    The small Japanese town of Tottori has announced that manga comics are being used to lure more tourists from overseas.

    Popular serial comic and animation Detective Conan tells the tale of teenage detective who shrank into a young boy after being forced to drink a potion, and now he will be entrusted to raise awareness of Tottori airport. The airport was renamed to Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport to capitalise on the comic's success, while the gateway, lobby and baggage claim area have been filled with various posters and illustrations.

    The other airport in Tottori, Yonago Kitaro, is named after 'Gegege no Kitaro', another popular manga about monsters. Tottori is the least populated prefecture in the country, with 578,000 people living across 3,500 sq km, but Yonago Kitaro actually welcomes two million passengers annually.

    Ambassador for the prefecture Mr Hirai said: "Tottori is known for its manga, a symbol of Cool Japan. There are more than ten million visitors coming to Tottori annually, and I want to particularly increase our foreign visitors."

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  • Tuesday, 17th March 2015
    In Japan Travel News, Business In Japan, Japan Travel News, Events In Japan,

    Disney announces further plans for Tokyo Disney in 2015

    The Walt Disney Company has announced that it will be hosting a special D23 Expo Japan from November 6th to 8th 2015 in Tokyo Disney Resort in Maihama. These are all smell steps to expanding all that Disney has to offer to the local economy in Tokyo.

    Expanding the fanbase

    As a fun event for Disney fans to get together and celebrate everything that the brand has to offer, D23 is actually held every two years in the US, but Expo Japan was launched in 2013 to cater to the niche Japanese market. As part of proceedings, visitors will be able to enjoy performances, peruse through exclusive merchandise, and attend workshops, seminars and presentations by Disney executives on what is coming soon from the company, whether it be related to theme parks, movies, music or television.

    This year's Expo is themed around 'the power of story', undoubtedly looking at how enriched universes have been created across the Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars franchises. One only has to look at The Avengers initiative or the series of Star Wars spin-off movies announced to see how interlocking stories help to further enhance the brand.

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