Japan Plans to Increase Foreign Visitors for Non-Tourism Purposes

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Visitors are seen at a tax-free counter at the BICQLO Shinjuku store in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, in January 2019.

The government has decided on an action plan for increased consumption by foreign visitors to Japan.

The action plan, which was approved at a ministerial meeting on Tuesday, aims to attract visitors for business, research and other non-sightseeing purposes, and sets a goal of increasing their consumption amount to ¥860 billion by 2025, a 20% increase from the 2019 pre-pandemic level.

The action plan was compiled as a series of measures to increase consumption by foreign visitors, instead of solely pursuing an increased number of visitors. A total of 78 measures will be implemented in three areas: business; education and research; and culture, arts, sports and nature.

The plan also aims to increase the number of international conferences held in Japan to make it top five in world rankings by 2030, and to raise the number of foreign visitors for research purposes to 16,000 by 2025, up 20% from the number in 2019.

Furthermore, the action plan aims to institutionalize a system of issuing a special visa for so-called digital nomads, people who work remotely while traveling around the world, by the end of fiscal 2023.

In March, the Cabinet approved a Tourism Nation Promotion Basic Plan, and set a target of boosting per capita consumption by tourists to ¥200,000, up ¥40,000 from 2019.