• Chunichi Shimbun

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In an effort to become a travel destination instead of a mere transit point, Nagoya is asking the public to help create a slogan or catchphrase the city can use for tourism posters and websites to improve its appeal.

The Nagoya Municipal Government is hoping the campaign raises citizens’ attachment to the city and strengthens its image in Japan and beyond.

Last year, it conducted a survey on municipal brands that revealed Nagoya was “deemed to have the least appeal” among Japan’s top eight cities.

The officials said that nonresidents are not interested in Nagoya’s history, culture and other attributes and that residents do not find any particular meaning in the city getting a good valuation.

Amid a falling birth rate and aging population, Nagoya is pursuing a strategy to boost tourism in the belief that it will bring vitality to the economy.

The draft plan proposes using opportunities like the hosting of the Asian Games in 2026 and the start of the Tokyo-Nagoya maglev in 2027 to establish its brand and get residents to promote Nagoya’s charms. The goals include targets like increasing the annual tourist tally to 49 million in fiscal 2020 from 43.31 million in fiscal 2015.

In addition to its history, culture and local specialties, the city also will focus on sports and pop culture as new resources that can attract visitors. It plans to promote “sports tourism” using baseball, soccer, basketball, futsal and other teams based in Nagoya, as well as market itself as the mecca for cosplay and anime.

Nagoya will distribute a summary of the draft plan to the city’s ward offices and branches, and make the full document available on its official website so the public can offer input via fax, mail or email.

It will also solicit ideas for the catchphrase from outside Nagoya by fax, mail or email. The proposals should roughly be kept to 20 syllables and presented on a specified paper format.

The officials said they will choose one phrase to promote the city and combine it with a logo design to be created from scratch.

The author of the best submission will receive an annual pass to Nagoya Castle and to Legoland Japan, scheduled to open in April, good for up to five family members, among other prizes.

The two runners-up will receive prizes and 50 submissions will be given special awards.

The deadline is Feb. 28 and the details are on the city’s official website. The Japanese keywords are Nagoya-shi miryoku kojo, which translates as “improving the attractiveness of the city of Nagoya.”

For inquiries, contact the Nagoya Municipal Government’s promotion section at 052 (972) 2226.

This section, appearing Tuesdays, features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published on Jan. 17.

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