The development path and effect analysis of Japan’s international tourism industry

JIN Xiaotong1 FAN Qian1

(1.Business School, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, Jilin, China 130012)

【Abstract】After the Second World War, Japan’s international tourism development lagged behind that of the world’s major countries and regions. Today, Japan’s international tourism industry ushers in an unprecedented high-speed growth period. This transformation benefits from the implementation of a series of relevant measures featured by close cooperation between public and private sectors, such as the strategy of making Japan a tourism-based country through tourism and the Visit Japan campaign. With the rapid development of international tourism, problems such as uneven distribution of tourist sources, excessive concentration of tourist sites, and lack of tourism brands have become more and more obvious. Under this background, the Japanese government proposes promoting future development of tourism industry from the aspects such as hosting international conferences, demonstrating national charm, enhancing added value of tourism resources and optimizing industrial management mode.

【Keywords】 Japan; international tourism industry; strategy of making Japan a tourism-based country; close cooperation between public and private sectors; tourism brand;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Fund Youth Project (71602066) National Social Science Fund Project (15BGL090)

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    [1]. ① It refers to the inbound tourism of foreign tourists in the paper. [^Back]

    [2]. ② Nature, culture, climate and food. [^Back]

    [3]. ① The rankings here are data in 1999. [^Back]

    [4]. ① VJC refers to a series of foreign tourist promotion activities led by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. [^Back]

    [5]. ② The competitiveness indexes are not limited to the number of overseas tourists, and tourism consumption income, but the potential of sustainable development of tourism industry in a country or region, and its potential contributions to overall economic and social benefits are studied concretely in aspects such as charm of the country or region, its service system for tourist reception and relevant policies of tourism. [^Back]

    [6]. ① For a long time, the international tourism revitalization agency as a special legal person responsible for inbound tourism was subordinate to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. [^Back]

    [7]. ① Many of the current specialized laws and related laws were enacted shortly after the Second World War. [^Back]

    [8]. ① It consists of Kutchan, Niseko and Rankoshi at the foot of Annupuri ranges, Hokkaido. [^Back]

    [9]. ② Such as local specialties, traditional goods, cultural industries, services and tourism. [^Back]

    [10]. ③ MICE specifically includes business meetings, corporate incentives, international conferences and exhibitions. [^Back]

    [11]. ① The Visit East Asia Campaign is one of the promotional activities which China, Japan and South Korea jointly conduct to attract tourists from Europe and America, with the goal of increasing people-to-people exchanges to 30 million person-times in the three countries by 2020. [^Back]

    [12]. ② It was officially put into use on January 28, 2017. [^Back]

    [13]. ① Here they refer to the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. [^Back]

    [14]. ② In 2015, foreign tourists’ shopping expenses accounted for 41.8% of their total consumption, an increase by 18.75% on year-on-year basis. [^Back]

    [15]. ③ Through network surveys, 50 countries were assessed from the six aspects of culture, national character, tourism, output, governance, immigration and investment. The top ten countries in 2015 were the United States, Germany, the UK, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and Sweden. [^Back]

    [16]. ④ In terms of category, the items which Japan had high rankings include “whether there is the charm of modern city” (5th); “whether there are rich cultural heritages” (5th); “whether there is intriguing mass culture (music, film, literature, etc.)”(6th); “willingness to hire the country’s excellent talents” (5th); “whether its products are satisfactory” (3rd); “whether it can produce advanced creation and ideas” (1st). The items which Japan had high rankings include “whether you willing to go if budget is not considered” (14th); “whether it has a wealth of natural resources” (16th); “Whether it has mature sports programs” (13th); whether you are feel welcomed in the country (13th); “whether you are willing to become close friends with local residents” (14th); “whether you willing to live and work here for a long time” (18th place). [^Back]

    [17]. ① They are Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Fukuoka Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Kanagawa Prefecture in terms of prioritization in tourist concentration. [^Back]

    [18]. ① Tourism ambassadors are appointed by the Japan National Tourism Organization to assist with meeting-related procedures and promotion measures. [^Back]

    [19]. ② Used for holding meetings, banquets and other activities, they are unique or can demonstrate local characteristics, such as historical buildings and public space. [^Back]

    [20]. ③ DMOs refer to organizations designed to promote regional tourism. The main functions of them include coordinating the relationship between relevant practitioners in local tourism industry and local residents, and formulating strategy based on the marketing concept. [^Back]


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    [2] Zou, W. Contemporary Economy of Japan (现代日本经济), (4): 61 (2009).







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    [10] Gu, H. Tourism Tribune (旅游学刊), (S1): 28 (2005).

    [11] Kuang, L. Tourism Tribune (旅游学刊), (4): 6 (2008).

This Article


CN: 22-1065/F

Vol , No. 01, Pages 60-72

January 2018


Article Outline


  • Introduction
  • 1 The history of the development of Japan’s international tourism industry
  • 2 Important policies and initiatives in the development of Japan’s international tourism industry
  • 3 Practical problems of Japan's international tourism industry
  • 4 Japan’s successful experience in developing international tourism and its enlightenment to China
  • Footnote