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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Improvements Japan Can Make To Attract Foreigners

Above, the Niigata City Performing Arts Center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It boggles my mind at how some people are afraid to visit Japan due to language and other alleged barriers. Some of those fears are a bit overblown.

I have visited Japan seven times since 2001 and never had any difficulty in navigating around the country or even ordering food at a restaurant. Besides, there's always someone around who can assist.

Japan Today has an article by RocketNews 24's Casey Baseel on what Japan need to improve on in order to attract more foreign visitors. Sure, there is some room for improvement, but Japan is not as difficult as some people think. (Well, that's my opinion, anyway.)

As you may be able to tell, I do have some disagreements with the central premise that Japan is a difficult country for foreigners.

The article begins with:
TOKYO —Japan’s National Tourist Organization recently released its statistics on the number of overseas travelers who visited in the country in 2014, and we’re proud to say that 13,413,467 of you came to visit. That number represents almost a 30% increase from the number of foreign tourists Japan received in 2013, and a whopping 60% jump compared to 2012. 
Still, Japan only ranks 27th globally in its ability to draw travelers from abroad, making it eighth in Asia, behind world No. 22 Korea and No. 4 China. 
So what’s holding Japan back from becoming an even more popular international travel destination? RocketNews24’s non-Japanese staff put our heads together, and after getting over the initial pain from our foreheads violently colliding, came up with the following list of areas Japan could do better in that foreign travelers would definitely appreciate.

 To see what improvements Japan can make, go here.

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