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1 March 2012

A Historical Review of Japanese Policies on Inbound Tourism

Professor Hajime Tozaki
Asian Studies at the Waseda University, Japan

Date: Thursday 1 March 2012
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: LE 1
Language: English

In the early stages of modernization (1982-1919), the Japanese government regarded tourism as one of the most important industries to accumulate foreign currency, and promoted it as a very important national policy. However, during the time when Japan accomplished dramatic economic development (1955-1973), it began to pay more attention to facilitating export and to developing manufacturing industries. The priority then was work and leisure activities like tourism had to take a backseat as they were not regarded as important. So, Japanese tourism industry was slower to develop its ability to respond to the demand of foreign travelers compared to former colonial cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and the government didn’t pay it much attention. In the 1990s, there was a great change in that situation. After the end of the “bubble” economy in the late 1980s, Japanese people began to rethink their way of life. Japan has been suffering from deflation, and manufacturing industries have lost its dominance in the global market. This led the Japanese government to reevaluate tourism as one of the industries with substantial potential to boost the economy in the late 1990. In particular, the Japanese government is attaching greater importance to promoting inbound tourism by treating it as one of the national strategic policies for the economic development of Japan.

Bio of the speaker:
Hajime Tozaki is a professor in the Organization for Asian Studies at the Waseda University, Japan, where he teaches transport policy and tourism. He is an advisor of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, and the author of “Airline Industry: The Study on a Lifeline" (Tokyo,Gakubunsha 2011).

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