Otsu invites diplomats to tour city in bid to attract international conventions

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Diplomats inspect Biwako Hall as a meeting location in Otsu on Saturday.

OTSU — In an effort to showcase the capital of Shiga Prefecture as a potential international convention and exhibition destination, the Otsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry invited diplomats in Japan to take a tour to see what the city can offer.

The tour took place Saturday in Otsu, which is easily accessible from Kyoto, with the participation of 11 diplomats representing Egypt, Nepal, the Philippines and five other nations.

At Biwako Hall, the diplomats looked around the main hall and the backstage areas, asking many questions about converting the stage for lectures. The director of the hall, Takashi Yamanaka, who showed them around, emphasized that the venue has accumulated know-how on lighting and acoustics by presenting operas.

“The hall can respond to your needs in detail,” Yamanaka said to the diplomats.

The group also boarded a cabin cruiser on Lake Biwa for a sightseeing tour supported by Yomiuri Travel Service Co.

The chamber of commerce said that based on the diplomats’ feedback, it will formulate a specific strategy to draw the meetings industry to Otsu.

The expectation is that international conventions and exhibitions will attract a large number of visitors. Because participants stay overnight, the economic effect is high.

A committee made up of the Otsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Shiga prefectural government and other organizations has set a goal of attracting at least five international and five national conventions by the time of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.