Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page July 2011


Excellent PR work at ITCM China and IMEX on Japan as a safe and attractive destination!

JNTO exhibited with seven other Japanese organizations at the Japan Booth at Incentive Travel & Convention Meetings China 2011 (IT & CM China 2011) held in Shanghai for three days between Wednesday, April 13 and Friday, April 15. Hosted by TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd., IT & CM China is marking its fifth anniversary this year. It’s a trade fair that branched off from IT & CMA—the largest MICE-oriented trade show in the Asia-Pacific region, held in Bangkok—in order to focus on the rapidly growing Chinese market. It has shown remarkable expansion.

This year, 253 organizations exhibited and the number of hosted buyers amounted to 344, 10% more than in 2010 (50% from China; 25% from the rest of Asia; and 25% from Europe). More than 2,200 participants attended from 43 countries. The Great East Japan Earthquake had occurred just one month earlier, and there was some concern about its influence on visitors to the Japan Booth. However, contrary to our predictions, the total of 63 business talks we conducted surpassed last year’s figure.

Buyers from various Asian countries were generally calm about the nuclear issues and we carried out active business negotiations about incentives and international conferences in the same way as usual. Buyers from China and some parts of Europe, however, were very sensitive about the radiation effects of the nuclear incident and some people even expressed the severe opinion that they believed holding MICE events in Japan would be difficult for the time being.

We were therefore eager to cooperate with the media, and at the opening ceremony held in the evening of the first day we made our first official announcement since the earthquake in the name of the JNTO president. We reported about the current situation in Japan, stating that none of the cities outside the disaster-stricken area have been affected at all. We sincerely asked for everyone’s cooperation to “support the recovery efforts by holding MICE events in Japan”. All the Japanese exhibitors did fine PR work in sweeping away false information and unpleasant rumors and emphasizing that Japan is a safe and attractive destination.

IT & CM China 2011 Seven Participating organizations: Sapporo Convention Bureau; Chiba Convention Bureau; Okinawa Convention Bureau; Shizuoka Prefecture; IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan; Fujita Kanko; RIHGA Royal Hotel.

JNTO also exhibited at the Japan Booth the following month at IMEX held in Frankfurt, Germany from Tuesday, May 24 to Thursday, May 26, along with eleven Japanese suppliers. Hosted by Regent Exhibitions, Ltd., IMEX is the largest MICE trade show in Europe. This year there were 3,500 exhibitors from 157 countries, 3,887 hosted buyers and 8,944 visitors. The number of exhibitors and visitors were more or less the same as in 2010. JNTO held business talks with 56 organizations (30 from Europe; 18 from North and South America; 6 from Asia; and 2 from the Middle East and Africa).

Although IMEX has been attracting a similar number of participants in recent years, it was worried that there might be a decrease in the number of participants and a reduction in size this year due to the launch in the United States of two large-scale MICE trade shows: AIBTM (Baltimore, in June) and IMEX America (Las Vegas, in October). However, many visitors came from countries outside Europe and the host reported that the number of buyers from BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) seems to be increasing.

As Japan was exhibiting less than three months after the earthquake, the host of IMEX kindly provided PR support. It placed a banner on the top page of the IMEX website and included articles about Japan in the “Daily News Paper” that was distributed during the period of the IMEX exhibition. All those involved with the Japan Booth wore happi coats and promoted the image of “safe and attractive Japan” by holding a “happy hour” event, at which sake from the disaster-stricken Tohoku Region was served.

IMEX 2011: 11 participating organizations: Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center; Kyoto Convention Bureau; Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau; Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation; Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau; JTB Global Marketing & Travel; Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd.; Nippon Travel Agency; TOPTOUR Corporation; Hotel Granvia Kyoto; Swissôtel Nankai Osaka.

Promoting the image of “safe and attractive Japan” to Asia
JNTO will be exhibiting at CIBTM in Beijing in August

JNTO will be exhibiting at CIBTM, the MICE business fair to be held in Beijing. Please visit us at the Japan Booth!
China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM 2011)
*Date: Aug 30 (Tue) ~ Sep 1 (Thu), 2011
*Venue: National Convention Center, Beijing, the People's Republic of China
*Booth No: F06

CIBTM participating organizations: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau; IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan; Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau; Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation; Nippon Express; Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center; Prince Hotels Inc.

What’s Up in Japan

International conferences have been successfully held: LinuxCon in Yokohama and AIB in Nagoya
“Japan is safe”: celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have visited Japan one after another

LinuxCon, the international conference on Linux, an open source software, was held for three days from June 1 at Pacifico Yokohama, which is located in Yokohama, just 30 minutes by train from the center of Tokyo. Around 500 engineers from all over the world participated. The conference which went ahead as scheduled partly for the chance of supporting the nation’s recovery included charity activities such as the sale of T-shirts. It was very favorably evaluated by everyone attending. Please access the following website to view some participant interviews:



In addition, The Academy of International Business (AIB) Annual Meeting, a business administration conference (for up to 1,400 participants), was held in Nagoya from June 24 to 28. Dr. Tunga Kiyak, the Managing Director of AIB Secretariat, provided us with the following comments.

"The conference went beautifully. When everything was said and done, we had over 950 participants, and they were all very appreciative of the fact that we decided to stay with Nagoya for the conference. We all loved the Japanese hospitality and professionalism, not to mention your delicious cuisine and amazing history and culture. It was also very nice to have the Mayor of Nagoya, the Chairman of Toyota, and the CEO of JR-Central all speak at our conference, as they provided many valuable insights to our participants about business in Japan. Overall, it has certainly been a memorable experience.
Thank you again for all your support throughout the conference."

Tunga Kiyak, Ph.D.
Managing Director,
Academy of International Business (AIB)

The gala party for the AIB Annual Meeting was held at Atsuta Shrine, which will be marking the 1,900th anniversary of its foundation in 2013. The participants enjoyed a fresh summer evening at the shrine surrounded by the deep, tranquil forest with an event based on a typical Japanese summer festival.

Interviews at AIB:

Atsuta Jingu’s website:

Moreover, distinguished international figures from various fields have been visiting Japan since the earthquake, and all the events they participated in were carried out smoothly. They included Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and the Metropolitan Opera from New York, who all performed as scheduled. Their comments, and many others, can be viewed on the following website that provides updates on the current situation in Japan:


Greater convenience and access in Osaka, the gateway to western Japan!
‘Osaka Station City’, the new complex facility at Osaka Station!

Granvia Osaka Hotel(NANIWA)

Osaka Station City

Osaka Station City, directly connected to JR Osaka Station, the gateway to Osaka, has just been born as a new base for the Kansai region and a new landmark of the city. Located in the complex is Hotel Granvia Osaka, with a total of 648 guestrooms and a banquet hall that can hold up to 500 guests, a department store, a cinema complex, a sports club, a hospital, restaurants and even a wedding hall. This makes it possible to respond to any conference requirement regardless of the weather.

A huge rectangular domed structure, stretching 180 meters from east to west and 100 meters from north to south, covers the platforms of Osaka Station. Inside the facility that links the tower buildings on the north and south sides of the station, there are eight unique squares with various features under the themes of Water, Green, Time, Eco, and Information. One of the squares named Tenku-no-noen (Farm in the Sky) grows local vegetables, fruits and seasonal crops so that visitors can come in contact with soil and nature right in the middle of the city center and can even experience harvesting.

Besides the promotion of rooftop greening, the facility includes many environment-conscious initiatives that make efficient use of the gigantic complex, such as solar and wind power generation systems, the reuse of rainwater, and insulation using double-layered glass.

In addition, further developments are underway on the north side of Osaka Station to create a world-class facility called Grand Front Osaka. Besides office facilities and hotels, a large-sized international conference hall that will serve as a base for intellectual and creative activities is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2013.
Don’t take your eyes off Osaka, with its highly accessible and convenient facilities!


Osaka Station City

Tobu Convention Center to be opened in 2014
The Tobu Convention Center in Shizuoka Prefecture to open

Shizuoka Prefecture is located at the center of the Japanese Archipelago. Both the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains and the Tomei Expressway run through it, connecting the prefecture directly to the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, about 100 kilometers away and western Japan. Besides its many traditional hot spring resorts, the prefecture is the home of Mt. Fuji, the symbol of Japan, and it provides easy access to popular sightseeing spots such as Hakone and Izu.

The prefectural government has designated the eastern part of Shizuoka as “an area of healthy urban communities centered around Mt. Fuji that communicate with the world”. It is promoting the Fuji Pharma Valley Project, with the Shizuoka Cancer Center at its core, and aiming to build up civic functions of a high order, including the promotion of conventions.

Kira Messe Numazu, which opened in October 1998 on the north side of Numazu Station, the eastern gateway to Shizuoka, boasted a total of more than five million visitors before it was closed in March 2010. A new Tobu Convention Center is due to open in its place in 2014. It will be equipped with conference facilities including a main meeting room for up to 1,300 participants, exhibition facilities with a floor area of 3,900 square metres, a hotel with 150 guestrooms, and a parking lot for more than 500 cars. The exhibition and event facility will be opened first in 2013.

The facility will be built next to the North Exit of Numazu Station, which is about one hour from Tokyo using the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train and the regular JR line.
For further information, please access the following website.


Enjoy traditional culture and subtropical resort life at the same time!
Okinawa MICE Project 2011 will be held in Okinawa on Monday, Sept. 26 and Tuesday Sept. 27.

Okinawa is a resort island with a subtropical climate located a two-and-a-half hour flight from Tokyo. Have you considered holding a conference there?
The Japanese Archipelago stretches for 3,000 kilometers from north to south. Located at its southernmost tip, Okinawa Prefecture consists of the main island of 1,207.87 square kilometers, 49 other inhabited islands and many uninhabited islands. Naha Airport on the main island is the gateway to Okinawa. The Okinawa MICE Project 2011 will be held for two days on September 26 and 27 at the Okinawa Convention Center, the Bankoku Shinryokan, and other neighboring facilities that are located along the coastline about one hour’s drive from Naha Airport, in order to introduce a variety of Okinawan MICE contents ranging from hotels to distilleries.

On September 26, MICE suppliers will gather at the Okinawa Convention Center, the largest MICE facility in the prefecture, which features a unique traditional roof and impressive open construction. They will conduct promotional activities about new Okinawan MICE contents and MICE project proposals. In the evening of the same day, an incentive-type theme party with the title “Okinawa MICE Night” will be held.
On the following day, September 27, the focus will be on international conventions or corporate meetings or conferences and incentive tours as the “New MICE Frontier in Okinawa”. The participants will be able to enjoy Okinawan MICE attractions imbued with a subtropical atmosphere at the Bankoku Shinryokan, the venue for Japan’s first resort-style summit, the 2000 Kyushu-Okinawa G-8 Summit. Why not take this opportunity to experience the charm of Okinawan MICE for yourself?
For further details, please access the following website:


Hotel Update

Prominent world brands landing in Japan one after another!
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto/Okinawa, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Marriott International Osaka are all opening soon.

The city of Kyoto with its elegant townscapes and neighboring areas attracts so many people from home and abroad that securing accommodation facilities can be difficult, especially in the cherry blossom and autumn leaf-viewing seasons. But it will soon be possible to find global-level service with improved quality that perfectly blends with Kyoto’s traditional culture.
Ritz-Carlton Hotels is so well known for its high level of customer satisfaction and quality service that it is the only global hotel chain in the service industry to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards that were established in 1987. Following its expansion into Osaka and Tokyo, the Ritz Carlton Kyoto will open in the spring of 2014. The high-class facility will be equipped with 136 luxurious rooms with an average standard room size of 50 square meters, the largest in Kyoto. Its location beside the Kamo River at Nijo-ohashi will provide easy access to the city’s popular entertainment districts such as the largest, Gion, and Kawaramachi-dori. The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is also scheduled to open in 2014.

Moreover, in Osaka, only a short distance from Kyoto, the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel will open in the spring of 2014, the third Marriott brand hotel in Japan following Nagoya and Okinawa. It will be a tie-up between Miyako Hotels & Resorts, which has a strong network nationwide, and Marriot International, which operates about 3,600 accommodation facilities in 71 countries and regions. The Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel will be located on the upper floors (19th, 20th, 38th to 55th, and 57th) of the 300-meter-tall, 60-storey multipurpose skyscraper that will be Japan’s highest building in an excellent location with a direct link to Kansai International Airport. It will feature an outdoor rooftop observatory with a panoramic view, a museum with an area of about 1,000 square meters on the 16th floor, and an urban-style complex department store stretching all the way from the first basement to the 14th floor, with a total salesfloor area of around 100,000 square meters, the largest in the country. With its museum and observatory area, this will surely be an ideal and unique venue.
Kise Bettei Hotel & Spa, an Okinawan resort facility very popular both at home and abroad, which has been offering blissful moments to the wealthy in its spacious and luxurious facilities, will be closing down on September 1, 2011. The venue will be refurbished and re-opened as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Okinawa in April 2012 prior to the Ritz-Carlton Hotels’ expansion in the Kansai region. The concept of the new hotel will blend the Ritz-Carlton style and Okinawan culture in a design that presents high quality with a subdued appearance. This will be the first resort hotel created as a conversion project in Japan for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The international network of the luxurious Ritz-Carlton brand will surely further promote the charms of Okinawa as a resort destination to the world.

For details about Marriott International and Ritz-Carlton Hotels, please access the following websites:

Marriott International:

The Ritz-Carlton:

Kise Bettei Hotel (will be refurbished to Ritz-Carlton Hotel Okinawa)

The Osaka Mariott Miyako Hotel(Image)

The Ritz Carlton Kyoto (Image)

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