It's all very well doubling the tourism target — to 40 million visitors in 2020 — but where will they stay?

Mizuho Research Institute last year forecast a shortage of 10,000 hotel rooms in 2020 if foreign tourists continue to increase in number. But that estimate was based on an assumption of 25 million visitors.

The central government has urged municipalities in the metropolitan area as well as in rural areas to ease regulations on building hotels. It will also subsidize efforts to turn old Japanese-style houses and abandoned schools into tourist accommodation.