Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page September 2011


Various international conferences to be held in Japan with JNTO support!

The International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) holds a congress every four years. At the XVIII INQUA Congress held in Bern, Switzerland, in July 2011, attended by 800 participants, it was determined that the upcoming 2015 congress will be held for the first time in Nagoya, Japan, instead of the competing candidate, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Located in the center of Japan’s main island of Honshu, Nagoya is served by an excellent transportation network, including the JR bullet train services and Centrair (Central Japan International Airport), which is fully equipped to handle both domestic and international flights. Since the theme of the congress is related to geology and geography, easy accessibility to both Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake, and the Lake Mikata-Goko in Fukui, received a lot of attention from the participants; it became a deciding factor in choosing the Nagoya Congress Center, along with its accessibility from the airport.

Three large-scale conferences have recently been held in Japan:

1. International Union of Microbiological Societies 2011 Congress: XIII International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology; XIII International Congress of Mycology; XV International Congress of Virology

(September 6, 2011~: Sapporo, 4,800 participants)

During the IUMS 2011 Congress held in Sapporo, a ‘Sapporo Walking Tour' program—guided tours of the city led by local volunteers—was organized for the enjoyment of participants and their companions. In the planning and execution phase of these walks, the Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation and the Foreign Language Volunteer Network cooperated to coordinate the recruitment of volunteers. The result was a huge response that greatly exceeded expectations: over 500 people applied, the largest number of applicants ever. Volunteer guides carefully selected from among the 500 applicants guided congress participants to some of the famous sights of the city, including the Sapporo Clock Tower and the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building (Akarenga).

IUMS 2011

2. The 44th World Congress of the International Society of Surgery (ISW2011)

(August 28~September 1, 2011: Yokohama, 2,000 participants)

The ISW World Congress, the oldest international surgical academic congress with a history dating back over 100 years, was held at Pacifico Yokohama at the end of August. Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, the number of tourists from overseas decreased sharply this spring, and there was some doubt as to whether the congress could be hosted in Japan as scheduled. However, the organizing committee played a central role in gathering and distributing accurate information on the situation, and the commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency issued letters of reassurance. As a result of this strong appeal by the support system—made possible by concerted efforts in Japan—it was decided that the congress would go ahead in Yokohama as planned, with the participation of around 2,000 surgical researchers. Due consideration was given to the electricity-saving measures being executed in Japan resulting from the impact of the earthquake, and the whole congress was held in an environment-conscious manner. A ‘smart casual' dress-code was set, which is quite unusual for such an authoritative international academic congress; participants were recommended to dress in the ‘cool biz' style—without a jacket or tie—which has become especially popular this year. In addition, half-sleeved polo shirts printed with the logo of the congress were sold at the venue, and proceeds were donated to the disaster-affected areas, making this a unique congress that not only promoted academic matters, but also supported Japan's reconstruction.



3. General Assembly and Congress of the International Union of Architects

(September 25~October 1, 2011, 6,000 participants)

Shortly after the earthquake, Ms. Louise Cox, president of the UIA (Union Internationale des Architectes) sent a support letter to TCVB and the Japanese hosts of the General Assembly and Congress of the International Union of Architects, scheduled to be held in Tokyo in September. Information to promote participation in the conference has been actively distributed by the UIA, and programs have been incorporated that include visits to the disaster-affected areas and discussions on architecture related to natural disasters. The conference will be held at the Tokyo International Forum, with the additional aim of supporting the efforts being made to recover from the disaster.

[Footage: images promoting Japan as the upcoming venue are posted on the URL of the JNTO international headquarters below for reference. http://www.jnto.go.jp/MI/eng/ video_picture/city.html]
With the aim of further increasing the number of international conferences held in Japan, JNTO cooperates with the Japan Tourism Agency and nationwide convention bureaus to support promotional activities carried out by the organizers of conferences such as academic bodies. Please make use of the many attractive programs we have available for those who are thinking of holding an international convention in Japan, such as our hosted buyers program which offers the chance to visit convention venue cities.

See you at the Japan booth!
JNTO exhibiting at IMEX America and EIBTM

Following its participation at CIBTM held in Beijing this year (August 31~ September 2), JNTO will be exhibiting at IMEX America—a trade fair being held for the first time in the USA as the American version of IMEX, the world's largest MICE trade fair held every year in Frankfurt, Germany—and EIBTM, Europe's largest convention and incentive travel exhibition to be held in Barcelona, Spain (November 29~December 1). JNTO's co-presenters are listed below. Please stop by at the Japan booth!

Outline of convention trade fairs
1) "MEX America"; (Regent Exhibitions, Ltd)
Venue: Sands Expo @ Las Vegas
Session: October 11~13, 2011
Booth No. 1044 (To be confirmed)
Co-presenters (9): Sapporo Convention Bureau; Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau; Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau; Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center; Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau; Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau; Hotel Granvia Kyoto; knt! Kintetsu International; DMC JAPAN Network
2) EIBTM2011 (The European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition)
Venue: Fira Gran via, Barcelona, Spain (To be confirmed)
Session: November 29~December 1, 2011
URL: http://www.eibtm.com/
Booth No. D700 (To be confirmed)
Co-presenters (10): Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau; Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau; JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc.; Hankyu Travel International Co., Ltd.; knt! Kintetsu International; Toptour Corporation; Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa and Shinagawa Prince Hotel; HILTON WORLDWIDE; DMC JAPAN Network.

What's Up in Japan

New Cutting-edge Convention Halls in the Ancient Cities of Kyoto and Nara
~Kyoto Karasuma Convention Hall opened in central Kyoto on July 1~

A brand-new facility, Kyoto Karasuma Convention Hall, has opened in Kyoto, the popular destination for both the tourist and the MICE industries, and the city where Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons Hotel are scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.

Owned and managed by PCO Convention Linkage, Inc., the Kyoto Karasuma Convention Hall is equipped with a main conference hall (capacity 560) and five meeting halls of various sizes to respond to a variety of needs. Part of the facility boasts a view of the 1,400 year-old Rokkakudo Buddhist temple—home to the Ikebana school of flower arrangement that will be celebrating its 550th anniversary in 2012. Located very conveniently on Karasuma Street, Kyoto's main business center, it's just 3-4 minutes on foot from Shijo subway station. Leveraged by the PCO network, the convention hall is expected to provide strong support to the Kyoto business world as ‘an intercommunication plaza of people, products and information.'

We asked James Kent, Kyoto Convention Bureau's international marketing manager, for his comments.
What role do you expect this new facility in the center of Kyoto to play?
"The new venue is located in the middle of the city, close to a range of hotels that make it ideal for international events. We also expect it to develop a significant market share within the city's one-day domestic conference market. Kyoto is increasingly becoming an important centre for global events and conferences, which has resulted in an increased demand for new venues and supporting hotel infrastructure. We feel that the new conference centre will fill a part of that requirement and make Kyoto even more attractive to national and international markets."

Mr. James Kent,
Kyoto Convention Bureau

Would You Like to Hold a Convention in a Temple?
~Grand opening of the Todaiji Comprehensive Cultural Center in Nara scheduled for October 10~

The Todaiji Comprehensive Cultural Center in the grounds of Todaiji Temple, one of "the cultural properties of the ancient city" in Nara's World Heritage Site listing, has reached completion!
Located next to the famous Nandaimon Gate, the center has three stories plus one basement floor. It includes the Kinsho Hall, a theater-style hall (312 seats and an area of 417m2) equipped with a 350-inch large screen. The facility also includes a small hall with a capacity of 200 and meeting rooms with 30~50 seats.
Not only does the location provide a perfect chance to explore the World Heritage Site between sessions, a number of national treasures will be put on display in the center's museum for the enjoyment of conference participants.

Meditation Can Bring a Fresh Breeze into International Conferences
~The effects of zazen proved at Kyoto temples~

During international conferences, participants normally stay in one city for between three and five days, often staying in the same hotel the whole time and participating in sessions held in the convention facilities located on the premises. During that time, many participants attempt to refresh their minds by jogging early in the morning or practicing yoga in order to maintain their concentration. However, especially in the latter half of the schedule, the effects of jet lag and parties that go on late into the night can make it difficult to wake up early, and the tight schedule might not allow enough time to take a shower before or after exercising. As a result, participants may have to head to the conference without being able to properly refresh their body and mind.

The Rev. Daiko Matsuyama, a deputy priest of Taizo-in Temple, the Myoshinji School of the Rinzai sect—who is assigned as a Visit Japan Ambassador of the Japan Tourism Agency—has come up with an idea to resolve such problems. Here he talks about a very interesting proposition to incorporate zazen, the Zen Buddhism form of meditation, into international conferences.

Q. Why have you proposed incorporating meditation in international conferences?

The most important thing at conventions is, of course, whatever is discussed in the meetings, but I believe it's also very important for participants to experience the culture and traditions of the country and to feel a sense of the unusual—both before and after the event. What often happens is that the schedule gets packed with meetings and excursions, and the meetings are frequently not as productive as expected because so much information is stuffed into brains that are worn out from the long trip. So we came up with the idea of combining meetings with some meditation, with the aim of enhancing the effect of the discussions.

Q. What kind of tests did you implement?

We needed some objective data, so we tested and measured people's retention, attentiveness and perceptiveness. Test subjects were first tested immediately after a session without practicing any zazen, and then tested after practicing some zazen. The scores for the second test improved by more than 12%, proving that the mediation had more than a little effect.

Q. What exactly do you do in zazen?

It's a basic method of training in which you sit straight, control your breathing, and concentrate your mind while in the sitting position. zazen is a type of meditation practiced in Zen Buddhism, but meditation is also an important factor in Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.

Q. So how exactly can zazen be incorporated into meetings?

I don't think it should be a matter of highlighting the religiosity of Buddhism. The point is to incorporate ten—or even just five—minutes of meditation before the start of a meeting, from the perspective that meditation is a common practice in all religions. Participants can also experience zazen during excursions. I believe such trials can become a very attractive program in Kyoto, the center of Zen.

So, in order to achieve good results in a short period of time, how about incorporating some zazen—Japan's unique style of meditation—into your own conferences?


Two major events will be held in Japan this autumn: CEATEC Japan, one of Asia's largest international exhibitions of images, information and communications that represents the IT & Electronics industry; and the Tokyo Motor Show, the showcase of the automobile industry.
The two exhibitions will cooperate to transmit messages of recovery, positively promoting ‘the strength of Japan's manufacturing skills' to domestic and overseas industrial markets that are paying close attention to the situation regarding the recovery of Japan's core industries—the automobile, IT and electronics industries—since the Tohoku Earthquake.
Company trips and incentive tours can be made very attractive by incorporating visits to relevant trade fairs into the itinerary. Many overseas companies will be participating in the following large-scale trade fairs. Please consider adding them to your program.

CEATEC Japan 2011
Dates: October 4 (Tues)~October 8 (Sat), 2011
Venue: Makuhari Messe, Chiba
Outline: Representatives of the IT & Electronics industries from Japan and overseas gather to present their latest technology and products. Starting from 2012, a new conference called the IEEE Global Conference on Consumer Electronics will be held every year. A pre-conference will be held in Chiba in October 2011.
The 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011
Dates: December 2 (Fri)~December 11 (Sun), 2011
Venue: Tokyo Big Site
Outline: A comprehensive show of passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, two-wheeled vehicles, chassis, parts and machinery-related products. As an international motor show in which major domestic and overseas brands participate, this show dispatches information on the very latest next-generation technology of the automobile industry regarding safety and the environment, while allowing participants to touch and experience the products on display.

Back to top