Cherry Blossom Festival Special Symposium on Tourism to Japan
Date & Time Friday, 23 March 2012, 15:00`18:00
Venue The Washington Post Conference Center (Washington DC)
Participants 223

@The year 2012 marks the centennial of Japanfs gift of cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C. To commemorate this very special occasion, a symposium on tourism to Japan was held. March 2012 also marks the one year anniversary of the tragic Great East Japan Earthquake. This symposium was also an occasion to highlight Japanfs recovery efforts. The symposium was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Japan Tourism Agency, the Embassy of Japan in the United States, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan International Transport Institute, USA.
@During the event, distinguished speakers described the tour destination situation in Japan, particularly the situation in the devastated Tohoku Region. Afterwards, representatives from the Japanese railway companies exchanged views and information with the audience about the Japanese high speed rail system.

Opening Remarks Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
Keynote speeches Irene Hirano Inouye, President, U.S.-Japan Council
Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America
Thomas R. Nides, Deputy Secretary of State
Takashi Kitamura, Vice Minister for Transport, Tourism and International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan
-Japanfs Attraction(U.S.Viewpoints)
Vinay Dube, Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Delta Air Lines
Michael Yamashita, National Geographic Photographer
Kenneth Kiesnoski, Editor, Destinations & Special Supplements, Travel Weekly
-Japanfs Attraction(Japanese Viewpoints)
Takao Nishiyama, Executive Director, New York Office, Japan Railways Group
Nobuo Hashimoto, General Manager of Market Department, Railway Operations Headquarters, West Japan Railway Company
Junichi Hidaka, Director, Deputy Director General of Railway Operations Headquarters, General Manager of Transportation Department, Kyushu Railway Company
Closing Remarks Makoto Washizu, President, Japan International Transport Institute, USA

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