Kishida Mulls Measures on ‘Overtourism’

Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, inspects Shuri Castle, being rebuilt, in Naha on Saturday.

NAHA (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday that his government plans to draw up measures as early as this autumn to combat “overtourism,” a situation in which surges in tourists cause negative effects on the daily lives of local residents.

At a time when the number of foreign visitors to Japan is recovering from a slump during the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing concerns about confusion caused by concentrations of tourists is an “important task for the government,” Kishida told reporters in Naha.

Concerns about overcrowding on public transportation, as well as garbage and noise problems, are growing as the number of foreign visitors increases.

On Aug. 10, China lifted its ban on group tours to Japan, which had been suspended amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Kishida unveiled a commemorative coin project ahead of the 100th anniversary in 2031 of the establishment of the county’s system to designate and manage national parks.

“We’d like to issue the first batch of commemorative coins, featuring Okinawa’s three national parks, next summer,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the prime minister visited Shuri Castle in Naha, which is being rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire in 2019.

He also held talks with people from the local tourism industry.