Statistics Regarding International Conferences held in Japan in 2016

Japan hosted a record-breaking number of international conferences and of overseas attendees which surpassed 200,000

  • According to a survey by the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) of all organizations in Japan that promote conventions, in 2016 the total number of international congresses held in Japan (*1) reached 3,121. This is 274 more than the previous year, showing a 9.6%growth.
  • Analysis of city-by-city results indicated that Tokyo (574) is ranked number one, with Fukuoka (383) in second and Kyoto (278) in third.
  • Cities such as Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka that are part of the governmental Global MICE Cities program – a program supporting cities in increasing their competitiveness for attracting international conferences - showed a significant increase in the number of conferences from the previous year. (Annex 2).On the other hand, the number of congresses held in Sendai has significantly fallen from the previous year, when the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction brought many related congresses to the area.

Number of Participants

  • The total number of participants in International Congresses held in Japan was of 1,861,000, showing a 5.3% rise(940,000 participants). The number of overseas attendees was 214,000, showing a 22.3% rise(39,000 participants), and surpassing 200,000 for the first time.
  • The congress with most attendees from overseas was “The 99th Lions International Convention”*, held in Fukuoka in June 2016, with 12,000 participants from overseas. *This is the annual meeting of the Lions Club, an international organization for community service, headquartered in Chicago.


  • With the collaboration of public and private parties in the Global MICE Cities programme, the MICE segment is progressing steadily. As a long term goal, JNTO aims “to establish a permanent status as the No.1 Asian country in number of international conferences hosted by 2030”. To achieve this, JNTO is implementing different strategies, including a new global branding campaign, and diverse forms of support to cities, to strengthen their promotional activities and help attract more international congresses to different parts of the country.

*1 JNTO criterion for International Congresses is as stated below.

  • 1) The organizer is an international organization or association (with branches in different countries), or is a national or domestic organization (referring to organizations that are not private enterprises)
  • 2) The total number of delegates is above 50.
  • 3) There are delegates from at least 3 countries participating, including Japan.
  • 4) The duration of the event is at least 1 day.

Numbers of International Congresses held in Japan(2007-2016)

Ranking by city with total number of conferences (2012-2016)

Rank 2012 No. 2013 No. 2014 No. 2015 No. 2016 No.
1st Tokyo City* 500 Tokyo City* 531 Tokyo City* 543 Tokyo City* 557 Tokyo City* 574
2nd Fukuoka City 252 Fukuoka City 253 Fukuoka City 336 Fukuoka City 363 Fukuoka City 383
3rd Kyoto City 196 Yokohama City 226 Kyoto City 202 Sendai City 221 Kyoto City 278
4th Yokohama City 191 Kyoto City 176 Yokohama City 200 Kyoto City 218 Kobe City 260
5th Osaka City 140 Osaka City 172 Nagoya City 163 Yokohama City 190 Nagoya City 203
6th Nagoya City 126 Nagoya City 143 Osaka City 130 Nagoya City 178 Yokohama City 189
7th Senri Area 113 Senri Area 113 Senri Area 104 Osaka City 139 Osaka City 180
8th Kobe City 92 Kobe City 93 Sapporo City 101 Kobe City 113 Sendai City 115
9th Sendai City 81 Sapporo City 89 Kobe City 82 Sapporo City 107 Sapporo City 115
10th Sapporo City 61 Sendai City 77 Sendai City 80 Senri Area 94 Kitakyushu City 105
11th Tsukuba Area 53 Kitakyushu City 57 Kitakyushu City 73 Kitakyushu City 86 Senri Area(**) 85
12th Kitakyushu City 45 Tsukuba Area 51 Tsukuba Area 66 Hiroshima City 59 Hiroshima City 76
13th Hiroshima City 37 Hiroshima City 50 Hiroshima City 50 Tsukuba Area 53 Tsukuba Area(***) 50
14th Chiba City 32 Nara City 31 Nara City 45 Nara City 36 Chiba City 43
15th Nara City 30 Chiba City 28 Okayama City 33 Okayama City 33 Nara City 39

(*)Tokyo City: 23 special wards only

(**)Senri Area: Cities of Toyonaka, Suita, Ibaragi, Takatsuki and Minoh, in Osaka City Prefecture

(***)Tsukuba Area: Cities of Tsukuba and Tsuchiura, in Ibaraki prefecture.

Total number of participants of international congresses held in Japan(2007-2016), including numbers of overseas and local participants.

Local Contacts


(JNTO Head Office)

+81 3 6691 4852

Contact Form

New York

Alicia Hinds

+1 212 757 5640

Email me


Ellen Mitchell

+44 20 7398 5670

Email me


Aurelien Bandini

+33 1 4296 2960

Email me


Im Young Hong

+82 2 777 8601

Email me


Susan Ong

+65 6223 8205

Email me

More Information

JNTO will be exhibiting at


Related Link