Statistics Regarding International Conferences held in Japan in 2017

Japan hosted a record-breaking number of 3,313 international conferences

  • According to a survey by the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) of all organizations in Japan that promote conventions, in 2017 the total number of international conferences held in Japan(*1) reached 3,313. This is 192 more than the previous year, showing a 6.2%growth.
  • Analysis of city-by-city results indicated that Tokyo (608) is ranked number one, with Kobe (405) in second and Kyoto (306) in third.
  • The capital Tokyo and cities such as Kobe and Kitakyushu, 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.

Number of Participants

  • The total number of participants in International Conferences held in Japan was of 1,726,000, showing a 7.3% decline. This can be traced to an increase in the number of conferences of up to 200 participants, and a decrease in the number of mid and big-scale conferences.


  • About 60 percent of the conferences in 2017 fell under the categories of "Science, technology, nature" and "Medical". In the latter category, the 23rd World Congress of Neurology (Kyoto, 8,641 participants), the IASLC 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (Yokohama, 86,764 participants), etc. were some examples of big-scale conferences.
  • The number of events held in the fields of “Politics, Economy, Law”, “Art, Culture, Education”, “Society” etc. increased significantly from the previous year. In particular, the Global Summit of Women (GSW) 2017 (Tokyo, 1,600 participants), held for the first time in Japan, attracted international attention.


  • The construction of new facilities as well as the expansion of existing ones in different regions of Japan have led to the MICE in Japan to gain momentum. To achieve the permanent status as Japan as the No.1 Asian country in number of international conferences hosted by 2030, public and private parties will continue to cooperate in efforts to further strengthen attracting international conferences.

*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(2007-2017)

Ranking by city with total number of conferences (2013-2017)

Rank 2013 No. 2014 No. 2015 No. 2016 No. 2017 No.
1st Tokyo City* 531 Tokyo City* 543 Tokyo City* 557 Tokyo City* 574 Tokyo City* 608
2nd Fukuoka City 253 Fukuoka City 336 Fukuoka City 363 Fukuoka City 383 Kobe City 405
3rd Yokohama City 226 Kyoto City 202 Sendai City 221 Kyoto City 278 Kyoto City 306
4th Kyoto City 176 Yokohama City 200 Kyoto City 218 Kobe City 260 Fukuoka City 296
5th Osaka City 172 Nagoya City 163 Yokohama City 190 Nagoya City 203 Nagoya City 183
6th Nagoya City 143 Osaka City 130 Nagoya City 178 Yokohama City 189 Yokohama City 176
7th Senri Area 113 Senri Area 104 Osaka City 139 Osaka City 180 Osaka City 139
8th Kobe City 93 Sapporo City 101 Kobe City 113 Sendai City 115 Kitakyushu City 134
9th Sapporo City 89 Kobe City 82 Sapporo City 107 Sapporo City 115 Sendai City 120
10th Sendai City 77 Sendai City 80 Senri Area 94 Kitakyushu City 105 Sapporo City 116
11th Kitakyushu City 57 Kitakyushu City 73 Kitakyushu City 86 Senri Area(**) 85 Senri Area(**) 98
12th Tsukuba Area 51 Tsukuba Area 66 Hiroshima City 59 Hiroshima City 76 Hiroshima City 87
13th Hiroshima City 50 Hiroshima City 50 Tsukuba Area 53 Tsukuba Area(***) 50 Chiba City 57
14th Nara City 31 Nara City 45 Nara City 36 Chiba City 43 Tsukuba Area(***) 47
15th Chiba City 28 Okayama City 33 Okayama City 33 Nara City 39 Kanazawa City
Okayama City

(*)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 conferences held in Japan(2007-2017), including numbers of overseas and local participants.