Tokyo’s plan to become a top global destination city

Tokyo Governor Yōichi Masuzoe
Tokyo Governor Yōichi Masuzoe today at the first meeting of the Council to Think of Tokyo’s International PR.

Oct. 7, 2014

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government today got down to the business of planning to host the 2020 summer Olympics, convening the first meeting of the Council to Think of Tokyo’s International PR.

An impressive collection 15 people from various fields (national government, media strategists, think tanks, and journalists) met with Tokyo Governor Yōichi Masuzoe for a frank discussion of what it will take to successfully host the games.

Among the proposals:

Better wireless: despite Tokyo’s reputation as a tech geek center, its wifi services are far behind other international cities.

Better navigation: More signs in a few international languages, particularly in train and subway stations. Short-term visitors can easily get lost, although Tokyoites are generally friendly when approached for directions.

Affordable eats and sleeps: Tokyo is an expensive city, and it’s easy for visitors to find out where to get the luxury treatment. The rest of us need to eat and sleep as well.

Masuzoe says he’s committed to using the 2020 games to turn Tokyo into a top global tourism destination, and hopes to boost Japan’s tourism numbers to 18 million by 2024, compared with 6.8 million in 2013, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. He’d be smart to learn from other host cities and focus on infrastructure improvements that ensure the capital’s continued development after the games.

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