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In 2001, soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., a friend working at a Tokyo travel agency griped about how terrorism affected his business, saying that tourism, after all, is a “peace industry.”

The current slowdown in tourism worldwide shows that the industry is also extremely sensitive to the whims of the economy, particularly the currency markets. Yet it is an industry that Japan is increasingly turning to, to create jobs and to revitalize rural cities and towns.

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