Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Japan (Probably) To Give Away 10,000 Air Tickets to Foreigners

The Japanese National Tourist Organization made a whopper of an announcement yesterday. In an effort to revive its crippled tourism industry (down some 70% since the earthquake and subsequent nuclear power plant problems last March), it is petitioning the government to make available funds for a ticket giveaway. At this stage, it has said its seeking some 1.1 billion yen (approximately $150 million dollars) to fund the purchase of 10,000 tickets for foreign visitors.

Photo by Marc Veraart
Beyond the direct infusion of cash this giveaway will give to the country's hoteliers, restauranteurs, tour companies and other organizations that cater to tourists, the promotion will be a major PR coup. Those requesting tickets will have to fill out online forms, apparently viewable by all comers, about why they want to visit the Land of the Rising Sun. They may also be asked to fill out questionnaires giving suggestions on how Japan can drum up more visitations.

Keep an eye on the JNTO website for complete information. No details have been given out yet as to when the applications will be due, though travel will apparently be for 2012 and not 2011. Those who accept the tickets will also be expected to post online reviews of their experiences after they return.

So is Japan safe? The US government thinks so. Just last week it downgraded its warning, saying that the only area citizens shouldn't enter is the zone within 20 km of the crippled Fukishimi Daiishi nuclear power plant (so Tokyo, Kamakura, Mount Fuji and Kyoto, the country's major touristic destinations, are all fine). To read the complete State Department statement, click here.


  1. Chernobyl - after 30 years of nuclear attack - is still dangerous... Think on your own...

  2. Chernobyl used a graphite reactor core and was housed in a pre-fab steel building. And it melted down....it didn't "attack" anything since it was an inanimate object. Get your facts straight and don't spout retardation next time you post online. You'll make the world a better place.

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