New York, NY, March 28, 2011: The President of Japan National Tourism Organizaion Mr. Takatoshi Mamiya released his statement from Tokyo.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) would like to express our sympathy and condolences to all the people who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. We would also like to express our sincere respect and gratitude to those who have been involved with the relief and recovery efforts.
We are very fortunate to have received many warm messages, encouragement, and support from all over the world; especially we know many citizens, regardless of their origin and nationality, have made generous contributions to relief organizations such as the Red Cross.
The devastating disaster has had an enormous impact on Japanís inbound tourism. While many areas in Japan remained unaffected by the disaster, they are also suffering from the sudden decrease in international visitors. We are deeply concerned that this will not only affect Japanís tourism industry directly, but also will have a very negative impact on our industry partners around the world.
JNTO is committed to provide timely information on the current situation to the travel industry and to the public through our website; however, considering there still exists some possibility of aftershocks and the highest priority has to be given to rescue and relief efforts, the Japanese Government has decided to pause its tourism promotion activities temporarily.
Once the situation in Japan stabilises, we will strive to resume all promotional activities as soon as possible. We look forward to warmly welcoming our visitors in the very near future, and thank you again for your continuous support.
JNTO provides daily updates on its website and its New York and Los Angeles offices take inquiries.
The hardest affected Tohoku region is still very difficult to travel. Due to the nuclear power plant accident after the earthquake, it is strongly advised to refrain from traveling to Fukushima as well as to follow the updates.
In Tokyo and surrounding areas, public transportation has been largely recovered, although there are still schedule changes due to periodical blackouts imposed for power conservation. Some hotels and other businesses shorten the business hours, and it is recommended to refer their updates in advance.
In other regions including Hokkaido, Kansai (such as Kyoto and Osaka), Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa, tourism facilities and transportation service are operated as usual.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) states that international flight and maritime operations can continue normally into and out of Japanís major airports and sea ports, excluding those damaged by the tsunami, and the World Health Organization (WHO) is not advising general restrictions on travel to Japan, still suggesting that travelers should avoid the areas affected most by the earthquake and tsunami where essential services have not been recovered yet.
Please note that due to the intensive recovery effort and the situation of the nuclear power plant accident, travel information is updated frequently. Please refer to multiple sources for latest information.
For more information contact:
Nori Akashi, Public Relations Manager