Japan plays ‘matchmaker’ for international associations

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Associations considering Japan for their next congress may be wooed by a matchmaking service.

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has launched a campaign – called New Ideas Start Here – which aims to link associations with the most ‘relevant’ cities for their international meetings.

Starting in April, the initiative will be promoted through an English-language website.

Promotional videos targeted at the associations market, detailing why organisations should take their meetings to Japan, will be used extensively in the campaign.

Etsuko Kawasaki, executive director of the Japan Convention Bureau, said: “We have conducted our own research and it is clear that Japan is able to attract a large number of events involving the medical, scientific and industrial sectors, so we are focusing on these areas for our associations’ campaign.

"Each city has something unique and special. We are encouraging them to make the most of those cultural assets. We want to link appropriate cities with the appropriate associations. It is almost as if we are providing a matchmaking service.”

Twelve cities in Japan have been designated Global Cities since they meet all the infrastructural needs for association events, including hospitality, venues and logistical support. A further forty cities are targeted at smaller events and associations.

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