• Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that the government will aim to double tourism spending to ¥4 trillion a year and create 400,000 new jobs as the industry becomes a major driver of the economy.

To perk up the stagnant regional economies, the government has also drafted an action plan to increase the number of duty-free shops outside major cities to 20,000 by 2020, when Japan will host the Olympic Games.

Japan will “attract tourists across the nation and enhance our ability to earn money through tourism,” Abe said at a ministerial meeting on tourism.

The plan calls for doubling spending in the same year the annual tally breaks 20 million. While the goal is to do this by 2020, minister Akihiro Ota suggested it might happen sooner.

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