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 September 26, 2014
VisitBritain and Japan National Tourism Organization Sign MoU

 At the British Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo this morning Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain, and Mr Ryoichi Matsuyama, President of Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), signed a memorandum of understanding committing both countries to the mutual exchange of tourism experience and information.

The MoU sees VisitBritain and JNTO commit to a cooperative and collaborative relationship with the ultimate aim of increasing the number of visitors travelling between the two countries.In anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games JNTO will promote Japan to overseas visitors, drawing on first-hand information and experiences shared by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency that capitalised on the hosting of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to boost inbound tourism to Britain.

The first project will be a Japan-UK tourism symposium, "Growth Strategy for Tourism, Making the Best Use of the Olympic and Paralympic Games" held in London on 2nd October at the Embassy of Japan. Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the UK, and Rt Hon Sir Hugh Robertson KCMG MP, former Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, will make speeches at the symposium.

In 2013 the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan reached 10 million for the first time in history. In the same year, Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 2014 marks the start of Japan's campaign to reach the even higher goal of attracting 20 million foreign tourists.

Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain, said: "2013 was a record year for British tourism and we didn't experience a drop in Olympic year either. This agreement with our friends at JNTO will enable us to pass on invaluable knowledge and help deliver a lasting tourism legacy for Japanese tourism."

Ryoichi Matsuyama, President of JNTO, commented:"In 2013 Japan welcomed 10 million overseas visitors for the first time and we have started working towards 2020. We are delighted to sign this MoU with successful Olympics host VisitBritain, and value the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity to transform Japan into a more tourism-oriented country."