Japan Meeting & Incentive News Print This Page November 2011


Application deadline approaching for Meet Japan 2012!

As part of its initiatives to promote Japan as an international conference destination, JNTO is inviting leading international association executives and core-PCOs to attend “Hosted Buyers Program – Meet Japan 2012”, which will be held for eight days from February 24, 2012.

The program offers international meeting planners who are planning to hold an international conference in Japan the opportunity to visit Convention Cities all over the country that meet their specifications. It is an innovative program making it possible to hold personal meetings with convention bureaus across Japan in order to collect information about convention facilities, accommodations, support programs, sightseeing options, etc.

This annual program has achieved highly successful results. For example, the ‘Global WordNet Conference’ to be held in 2012 in Matsue City is being organized by Ms. Fellbaum, who participated in last year’s Meet Japan program and made an inspection tour to the city.

The business discussions and welcome reception held in the historic port city of Yokohama last year were very well received; in 2012, they will be held in Sapporo, the core city of northern Japan which is famous for its Snow Festival. ‘What’s new Japan’ later in this edition covers the latest initiatives being made by Sapporo City as a convention city, and we hope you will enjoy reading that article.

The following website for recruiting participants will remain open until Thursday, December 22. Please visit it to find more details and information regarding application procedures.

Meet Japan 2012:

Matsue Castle(Matsue, Shimane)

JNTO Exhibited at IMEX America

For three days from Tuesday October 11 to Thursday October 13, JNTO exhibited at IMEX America, the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events, the world's largest MICE trade fair which was being held for the first time in the USA. The venue was the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. Everyone, including the nine other participating suppliers, wore identical happi coats and promoted the charms of Japan as a MICE venue.

About 2,000 exhibitors participated in this American version of IMEX, the world's largest trade fair held every year in Frankfurt, Germany, and the number of attendees rose to 1,700.

Thanks to the cooperation between the organizer, Regent Exhibitions, Ltd, and MPI (Meeting Professionals International) to secure quality buyers, IMEX America featured many buyers with prospective meetings. As a result, we were able to give timely and concrete information directly to those planning international conferences or corporate meetings in Japan, and conducted very meaningful business discussions. Various MICE organizations including ICCA, IAPCO, SITE, CIC, DMAI, Best Cities, Cvent and StarCite also held general meetings and events on the final day, so the trade fair attracted many visitors and ended successfully.

We received the following comments from some of our suppliers (in random order).

Ms. Otani (Sapporo Convention Bureau):
It was the very first promotional activity for the Sapporo Convention Bureau in the North American market. We could have many chances to meet buyers from all over the world. We would like to develop the network we built up at IMEX America and hope we can bring more MICE to Sapporo.

Ms. Sato (YOKOHAMA Convention & Visitors Bureau):
It was a great opportunity to exhibit at IMEX AMERICA, the new and passionate market that is spread right across North America.

Ms. Teruya (Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau):
Despite all the difficulties and differences, we confidently promoted "JAPAN MICE" as a united team at IMEX America 2011. The guests who visited us surely discovered that Japan is the most exquisite and fantastic destination in the world!! We heartily welcome you to visit this fabulous country, Japan, including Okinawa!

Ms. Tokuda (DMC Okinawa Inc.):
DMC Japan Network successfully informed experienced MICE organizers and buyers at IMEX America about the fascinating local resources and attractive MICE contents we can offer.

See you at the Japan booth at EIBTM 2011!

In November, JNTO will be exhibiting at EIBTM, Europe’s major convention and incentive travel exhibition, which received 8,170 visitors in 2009, the biggest number of visitors ever. We hope you will stop by and see us at the Japan booth and make the best use of the chance to acquire updated information on Japan directly.

1) EIBTM2011 (The European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition)
Venue: Fira Gran via, Barcelona, Spain
Session: November 29~December 1, 2011
Booth No.: E750
Co-presenters (10): JTB Global Marketing & Travel Inc.; DMC JAPAN Network; Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa/Shinagawa Prince Hotel; knt! Kintetsu International; Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau; HANKYU TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD.; Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau; Hilton Worldwide-Japan; TOPTOUR Corporation; Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Many large-scale conferences to be held in Japan in 2012

The fact that many large-size conferences have confirmed they will be held in Japan in 2012 symbolizes that Japan is steadily recoverying from the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The IMF General Assembly, a gathering of top figures involved in international finance and development from all over the world, was originally planned to be held in Egypt. However it has been decided officially that the venue will be changed to Tokyo, which first hosted the assembly back in 1964. This will have major significance for Tokyo as the city in Asia that is now regarded as the engine for world economic growth. On this occasion, the associated meetings of the IMFC (the International Monetary and Financial Committee), the World Bank, and the IMF Development Committee will also be held. The IMF and the World Bank have welcomed the holding of the General Assembly in Tokyo, and also expressed their gratitude to Japan for having supported them up to now.

Two other large-scale conferences in which JNTO has been contributed to are scheduled to be held in 2012.

The first is the International Society of Urology World Congress (SIU), to be held at the Fukuoka Convention Center for six days from September 29 to October 4. As Japan’s southern gateway, Fukuoka is proud of being in second position in Japan as a host of international conferences. At the voting carried out at the SIU Congress in Shanghai in 2009, it gained the right to host the 2012 Congress,winning out over the city of Sydney. Fukoka’s successful bid was based on the various attractions it promoted: safety; cleanliness; relatively low prices; subsidy systems; and many hospitality ideas, such as a gala party at a unique venue featuring traditional townscapes and the city’s rich food culture,symbolized by the variety of food stalls standing along the river that runs through the center of town. Fukuoka also set up its Japan booth at the SIU Congress held this year in Berlin and conducted promotional activities to invite participants to the next congress in Fukuoka, that is expected to attract around 4,000 participants.

SIU @ Berlin booth

SIU Dazaifu Tenmangu(Fukuoka)

SIU@Fukuoka International Congress Center

The other large-scale congress ,the Annual SWIFT International Banking Operation Seminar -SIBOS- (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), will be held at Intex Osaka for five days from October 29 to November 2, 2012. Aiming to increase the number of participants, the Sibos2012 Osaka organizing committee and the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau joined hands to set up a promotional booth at the SIBOS congress in Toronto in September 2011. The congress is expected to attract more than 6,000 participants.


SIBOS Osaka Presentation


with Toronto Convention Bereau Staff(SIBOS)

What's Up in Japan

Beaches and cities become your field!

As part of incentive programs or post-convention events, it’s essential to suggest participatory programs making the best use of local features that can be held within half a day. We would like to introduce attractive ‘team-building programs’ from two cities that are focusing on the incentive market.

The first is an incentive program suggested by Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture. The program was actually carried out by participants from China and Southeast Asia on the occasion of the Okinawa MICE Project 2011, (September 26 to 28, 2011). They experienced a team-building program that makes full use of Okinawa’s beautiful beaches. The more than 100 participants were divided into four teams. Even though it was late September, the beginning of autumn in Japan,they could enjoy the fascinating southern resort programs in subtropical weather. The programs included teams of 10 people rowing traditional ‘hari’ dragon boats in rhythm and competing in terms of speed and teamwork. Each of the four teams also chose a different type of traditional performing art: ‘Eisa’ traditional dance; Okinawan-style karate; hula; and ‘ZUMBA’ Latin aerobic dance. After practicing on the beach, they held a competition in which each team presented a three-minute performance. The prize for the winning team was deluxe foodstuffs for the barbecue party held after the event, such as a huge Ise lobster more than 20 centimeters long and pork from Agu pigs raised in the rich natural surroundings of Okinawa. All the teams thoroughly enjoyed the event and had a great time tasting delicious barbecued food.

Shuri Castle(Okinawa)

Next is a program from Yokohama, the historical port city only 30 minutes from Tokyo which is famous for its large China Town. It involves a kind of treasure hunt around the streets of Yokohama, with the participants divided into teams of a few people each. They compete to gain the highest score by taking photos of the targeted locations based on hints provided by images and writing on the target list they are given. First, they have to carry out a fairly simple mission that takes between 45 and 60 minutes; and then they tackle a more advanced mission, spending 75 to 90 minutes. The point of the game is to assign particular roles to members in the team and plan an efficient strategy for locating the targets. To get around, you can walk or use public transportation, and to help locate the targets, you can refer to maps, ask help from local people, and use IT terminals and other resources such as taxis and buses. Employing Internet tools and acquiring information directly from people enhances team solidarity, allows participants to familiarize themselves with the streets of Yokohama and its advanced transportation system in a natural manner, and provides the chance to experience the hospitality of the city’s residents.


International meeting planners visit Japan to check out incentive tours

To keep pace with the increasingly growing demand for incentive tours, JNTO recently planned several ‘fam tours’, inviting incentive decision makers from the Asia Pacific region to visit Japan in order to experience Japanese service at first hand. The participants were from Korea, Australia, Singapore and two cities in China, where the market is rapidly expanding.

1. Miyazaki & Shizuoka course (for Koreans)
5 days and 4 nights September 16 (Fri) – 20 (Tue)

Miyazaki on the island of Kyushu is highly evaluated for its programs that make the best use of the area’s natural environment, such as golfing, which is extremely popular with Asian visitors, including Koreans. Representatives of four leading Korean companies, including a life insurance company, were invited to the fam tour this time. They were introduced to the charms of Miyazaki by visiting Phoenix Seagaia Resort,Aoshima Shrine,and the rock formations known as the ‘Ogre's Washboard’.They also paid an inspection visit to see glass artwork at Aya Shusen No Mori and were each presented with a decorated plate bearing their name, an example of Miyazaki’s meticulous service.

A personalized plate: special customer service (Miyazaki)

Phoenix Country Club(Miyazaki)

Phoenix Country Club(Phoenix Seagaia Resort):

The party then moved to Shizuoka, which is known for its production of high-quality Japanese tea and large fishing hauls. The participants cruised around Shimizu port and visited the Sapporo Beer factory. And during an inspection tour of the earthquake protection center equipped with the very latest technology to deal with major earthquake disasters, they experienced a solid disaster-relief system.

2. Yokohama & Nagano course (for Australians)
5 days and 4 nights October 24 (Mon) – 28 (Fri)

The members of the party from Sydney, Australia began their tour in Yokohama, where it visited the historical Sankeien Japanese Garden, which can serve as a unique venue for receptions, and the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. They also enjoyed riding on a Traditional Japanese-style houseboat.

The party then moved to Nagano, where they experienced zazen meditation at the Gyokusho-in hall of Zenko-ji Temple, which boasts a history of 1,400 years. The tour provided very fulfilling service to the overseas guests.

The city of Nagano hosted the Winter Olympics in 1998; not far away is Jigokudani Yaen-koen, famous for its monkeys bathing in a hot spring.

3. Osaka course (for Singaporeans)
4 days and 3 nights November 1 (Tue) – 4 (Fri)

Influential convention decision makers from Singapore were invited to Osaka. The tour provided them with a chance to watch a Noh theatre performance at Yamamoto Nohgakudo and try their hand at making sushi.
Kobe course (for Shanghai) and Okinawa course (for Beijing) will be scheduled.

Yamamoto Nobakudo(Osaka)

Sushi making (Osaka)

Sapporo, Japan’s Leading Green MICE City Launches New Initiatives

Sapporo is the core city of Hokkaido, the large island located at the northern end of the Japanese archipelago, which stretches a great distance from north to south. The city declared itself a convention city at an early stage and has continued efforts to make its facilities ever more convenient and comfortable. The convention facilities and hotels are concentrated in the city center, and the public transportation system—including a subway system, streetcars, buses, and JR trains—is highly advanced. As a result, the city has played host to many international conventions, conferences, and meetings of all kinds. Sapporo is also the venue for major winter sports events, typified by the Winter Olympics and the Winter Universiade, and its internationally popular snow festival makes excellent use of its northern location and natural features. Many foreigners visited the city in 2002 when it served as a FIFA World Cup venue. This year, the hosted buyers program, the business discussions for Meet Japan 2012 and its farewell party, all hosted by JNTO, will be held in Sapporo with its beautiful natural surroundings and four seasons. For the first time in Japan, the convention-oriented city has been working on a new type of ‘green meeting’.

Sapporo Convention Bureau’s Green MICE efforts date back to the year 2009. Since its launch of the “Sapporo Convention Bureau Green MICE Subsidy Program”, Sapporo CB has been supporting environmentally conscious MICE organizers. Sapporo is a unique city where “Green MICE” has been promoted through joint initiatives between the public and private sectors. The Sapporo CB and the NPO Sapporo Convention Network, consisting of 100 local companies, have been working together to raise public awareness of Green MICE. Recently, the City of Sapporo has enacted the “Sapporo Green MICE Initiative Certificate Program”, which enhances the Sapporo CB’s long-time efforts. The Mayor of the City of Sapporo issues a Certificate of Green MICE Encouragement to organizers who have implemented 40% of the “47 Green MICE Checklist”. With these innovative actions, the Sapporo CB has accelerated efforts to reinforce environmental consciousness.

Hokkaido University was the first organization to receive the award on October 19 and announced its pleasure in a special message.

For more about Sapporo Green MICE, please contact the Sapporo Convention Bureau!

Sapporo Convention Bureau URL:

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