Mie Prefecture sees next year's Ise-Shima Summit as the best opportunity to build infrastructure and nurture human resources to welcome more foreign tourists, hoping to achieve sustainable regional growth beyond 2016, Mie Gov. Eikei Suzuki said.

"Foreign visitors only account for 1.8 percent of the annual total number of visitors who stay overnight or longer in Mie Prefecture. Mie has a lot of room to grow," the governor said in an interview with The Japan Times on Friday.

Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement earlier this month that the cities of Ise and Shima will be the venue for next year's Group of Seven Summit, Mie has already begun to see a direct economic impact, Suzuki said.