Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Japan gov’t to help tourism on distant islands, protect territorial waters


Rebun Island in Hokkaido Yomiuri Shimbun  FILE PHOTO through The Japan Information/Asai Information Community

TOKYO — The Japanese authorities has determined to strengthen its help for the promotion of tourism in areas designated as particular inhabited distant border islands, with a view to preserving territorial waters as effectively.

The economies of distant islands specifically have been hit laborious by the decline in tourism because of the unfold of the novel coronavirus. The initiative additionally goals to stop the islands from shedding inhabitants and changing into uninhabitable, which is able to assist protect Japan’s territorial waters.

This system might be launched as early as the tip of March.

The federal government plans to subsidize 55% of a venture price to native governments for initiatives using the distinctive tourism sources of distant islands, reminiscent of wealthy nature, historical past and contemporary marine merchandise.

For instance, the federal government envisions excursions that embody a meal coupon for native seafood and a transportation ticket, and the event of latest specialty meals.

The federal government additionally plans to help the coaching of tour guides and the creation of brochures.

Based mostly on the particular measures regulation for preserving inhabited distant island areas that got here into power in 2016, the federal government has been selling measures to take care of social and financial actions of distant border islands as a part of efforts to stop them from changing into uninhabited.

The federal government is anxious that if the islands develop into uninhabited, it’s going to develop into troublesome to make use of them as a base of operations for safety within the surrounding waters — which may hinder the preservation of territorial waters.

The federal government has designated 71 particular inhibited distant border islands in 29 municipalities of Tokyo and 7 prefectures — together with Rebun Island in Hokkaido, Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture and Tsushima island in Nagasaki Prefecture — beneath the particular measures regulation. The inhabitants of every island varies from about 50,000 to some.

Tourism is a serious earner on many islands, and its decline amid the coronavirus disaster has been deeper than the nationwide common.

READ: Japan mulls limiting tourism marketing campaign in Tokyo

In response to the Japan Tourism Company, the variety of vacationers who stayed on distant islands declined about 75% in April-June 2021 from the identical interval in 2019. The variety of vacationers nationwide declined about 58% in the identical interval.

The sharp decline is believed to have been attributable to limits on transportation to the islands and the reluctance of residents to just accept guests in worry of an infection with the novel coronavirus.

The federal government is anxious that if tourism continues to be sluggish, extra folks will depart the islands, which may trigger an extra decline within the inhabitants.

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