Japan extends friendly hand to India

Japan National Tourist Office (JNTO) will launch its regional office in New Delhi in February and also open 13 new visa application centres to facilitate easy travel for Indian visitors to Japan.

In line with celebrating 2017 as the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges, the Japan National Tourist Office (JNTO) will also open 13 new visa application centres in India. The centres will be opened at Gurugram, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Puducherry and Hyderabad.

The opening ceremony of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges was held in Delhi where Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourist Office, announced that JNTO will begin its regional operations in Delhi from February. “Last year Japan saw 120,000 Indian arrivals whereas 230,000 Japanese visited India. Though the number of Indians visiting Japan is steadily increasing, the current figure is yet modest despite the vast size and scale of India and more so given the long-standing relationship between the two countries. With the new of- fice, we hope to boost the tourist numbers from India to Japan,” said Matsuyama.

Kenchi Takano, Executive Director- Preparation Of- fice for New Delhi, JNTO, said, “We will work tirelessly in India to make significant contribution to the tourism exchanges between the two destinations and increase the two-way traffic of tourists between India and Japan.” Matsuyama further added that Japan is aiming at one million Indian visitors to Japan in the long term and JNTO will focus on promoting the destination in the Indian market in 2017.
The event was attended by Kenko Sone, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan; Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister, Government of India, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Ayog, Government of India, amongst others. His Excellency Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, added that a number of cultural and tourism related events are planned to be held all around India in 2017. The ceremony also marked the official announcement of Japan-India Collaboration Film Project. Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali is collaborating with Japan’s entertainment conglomerate Shochiku to produce a cross-culture romance in Hindi, titled Love In Tokyo. The movie will be shot almost entirely in Japan and will be co-produced by Imtiaz’s Window Seat Films and Shochiku.

According to Matsuyama, Japan is a comfortable and promising destination for all types of Indian travellers, be it leisure, FIT, MICE and even honeymooners. “Japan offers diversity of seasonal flavours where tourists can experience four distinct seasons. Along with that Japan has nature’s beauty; wide variety of cultural attractions; fusion of cultural values with cuttingedge technology and modernity; and delightful cuisine etc.,” adds Matsuyama.

Yasuo Taki, General Manager India-Delhi, All Nippon Airways, also present at the event informed that the passenger traffic from India, especially Mumbai to Japan has increased. ANA operates two daily flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Japan and the airline is looking to expand its network in the near future. “We recently changed the aircraft which boosted our capacity by four times from Mumbai. The tourism spectrum will change dramatically from India to Japan after JNTO begins its operations and also with business relations increasing between the two countries, we expect to see an increase in business travellers from India to Japan.”

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