Teach the rules

  • Build relations between tourists and locals
- The Japan News

Jan 30, 2018-It is necessary to exercise wisdom regarding how to form good relations with visitors to Japan from countries whose customs and cultures differ from our own. The number of foreign tourists to Japan stood at 28.69 million last year, up 19 percent from a year earlier. The government has said it is aiming to raise the figure to 40 million by 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics will be held. The amount of money spent by foreign tourists for such purposes as shopping and accommodations last year reached ¥4.4 trillion. Its scale compares favorably with the value of car exports to the United States. The growth in the number of foreign visitors to Japan is underpinning consumption at a time when society is undergoing a population decrease, and is also contributing to regional revitalization. But it is worrying that the increase in foreign tourists is beginning to pose a problem for the lives of residents in some sightseeing areas. 

The central government should consider measures to reduce the burden on local communities in cooperation with their local governments. The housing and accommodation business law will go into effect in June, lifting a ban on minpaku, or using unoccupied rooms at condominiums and other private residences to temporarily accommodate lodgers for a fee. Many local governments are receiving complaints from local residents, who say they are concerned about unknown foreign visitors going in and out of condominiums, for example. Minpaku business operators must explain to customers about such matters as troublesome behavior they should avoid and sanitation. 

Published: 30-01-2018 07:56

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