You are here: HomeJapan 2013 › Aviation

Japan 2013

Japan’s gateways to the world

Jun 26, 2013

While Japan has long been among the world’s most popular destinations, it is quite surprising to find out that the government still considers tourism to be a budding sector. It was only in 2003 that the government made it a priority to raise foreign tourist arrivals.

In March 2011, the sector was dealt a huge blow with the earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tohoku region in eastern Japan.

According to official figures, foreign tourist arrivals fell to 6.3 million that year. Just two years after, that figure has risen beyond pre-disaster levels to 8.6 million.

The remarkable recovery of Japanese tourism speaks to the country’s enduring worldwide appeal; and given Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, it is hard not to be optimistic for the future.

“Inbound tourists to Japan come mainly from Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. A significant number of tourists come from the U.S., with over 710,000 of them in 2012, the largest among non-Asian markets.

This makes the U.S. one of the most important markets for our Visit Japan programs,” said Ryoichi Matsuyama, president of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

“This year, we are aiming for ten million tourists, targeting 800,000 visitors from the U.S.,” Matsuyama added.

The country’s main international gateway — Narita Airport — is expecting a huge growth in flights and passenger traffic.

“With the implementation of the ‘open skies’ policy, we hope to see an increase in the number of flight operations. And with the economic outlook in seemingly good shape, thanks to the administration of Prime Minister Abe, and his government’s policy to promote inbound tourism, we can expect a steady increase in flights to Japan,” said Narita International Airport Corporation (NAA) President and CEO Makoto Natsume.

“Throughout the years, we have increased Narita International Airport’s capacity, and I am pleased to say that our capacity expansion and facility upgrading is on target to accommodate 300,000 annual aircraft movements by fiscal year 2014. One key feature is a dedicated low-cost terminal,” Natsume added.

Narita Airport accommodates over half the total international passengers in Japan

Sharing more than half of the total number of international passengers in Japan, Narita International Airport is rightfully regarded as Japan’s gateway to the world.

“Narita is an important node between Asia and North America. Our network extends to 109 cities around the world. Compared to other airports around Asia, we have a very well-balanced network, especially with our network to North America, which accounts for sixteen percent of our traffic,” Natsume said.

“As for our partnership with U.S. airports, we have very strong ties with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. We are currently having discussions with Denver International Airport so that when the inaugural flight is launched, we would like to conclude a sister airport agreement,” he added.

“As a multifunction airport that can meet the diverse needs for air transport in the Greater Capital Area of Tokyo, Narita aims to become the key international hub airport of East Asia and become an airport that is relied on, trusted, favored, and preferred by the customers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Haneda International Airport is capitalizing on its location in central Tokyo in the hopes of attracting more international flights.

“We will have to improve access between the two airports in the future. With the ‘open skies’ policy and the entry of low–cost carriers, passenger demand will increase,” said Isao Takashiro, president of Japan Airport Terminal, the largest shareholder in Haneda International Airport.

Article Tags:

Industries and Sectors:

Japan 2013 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

latest special Reports:

  • Global Media is your partner in reaching a powerful international audience through high-level economic reporting.

    Our ambition is to highlight under-reported developments and opportunities around the world, and allow leaders in these regions and sectors to take their message to the highest global level. We partner with top media to communicate with the world’s most powerful audiences. We specialize in communication and branding initiatives that help our clients effectively get their messages to their existing and potential partners. We achieve results for our clients by introducing them and their initiatives to an audience of elite international business and government leaders.

    Global Media Inc. is an independent media agency with offices in Hong Kong and Canada. GMI has more than a decade of experience in the writing, researching, and production of promotional country reports, with media partners from East Asia to North America. We have teams worldwide that develop country and thematic reports on the latest economic trends and developments.

    We are a media partner of Foreign Affairs,the United States’ most influential publication, published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.

    Nearly a century old, there isn’t a more influential or higher-reaching publication in the United States than Foreign Affairs. The journal is ranked #1 in influence by U.S. opinion leaders in a recent nationwide study conducted by Erdos and Morgan, the premier business-to-business research firm. Their findings place Foreign Affairs ahead of all media, both print and broadcast, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.


    “We were extremely impressed with how efficient, well-coordinated, responsive and reliable the Global Media Inc. team was. We owe them a lot for their professionalism. We were very pleased with the outcome, and the article was very well-written. We hope to have an opportunity to work with Global Media Inc. again in the near future.� – Japan Airport Terminal Co. Ltd.
    “The Global Media team’s professionalism was excellent. Their team was great and always gave us the right suggestions and information. The product was excellent, and we were very happy to have such a great opportunity working with their excellent team.â€� – National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
    “We were honored to be chosen as one of the good universities in Japan. This article conveyed Seigakuin University’s educational ideals and the message from President Akudo. The advertisement was conspicuous and gave a good impression that Seigakuin nurtured students to contribute to world peace. We really appreciated what Global Media Inc. had did for us.â€� – Seigakuin University

    Whom we have featured:

    • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard
    • Australian Foreign Affairs Minister (and former Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
    • Qatari Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
    • Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshiaki Takaki
    • Taiwanese Foreign Minister Yang Chin-Tien
    • Taiwanese Finance Minister Lee Sush-Der
    • Taiwanese Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-Shiang
    • Taiwanese National Science Council Minister Lee Lou-Chuang,
    • Taiwanese Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Yeh Kuang-Shih
    • Taiwanese Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Lin Tsong-Ming
    • Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal
    • Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Gita Wirjawan
    • Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III
    • Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

Join our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.