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China, Japan to boost tourism cooperation

Updated: May 25,2015 3:02 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China and Japan are seeking mutual tourism investment opportunities as both countries have experienced increased tourist flows in recent years.

China welcomes and supports Japanese companies looking to invest in China’s booming tourism industry, said Li Jinzao, head of China National Tourism Administration, while meeting with visiting Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council Toshihiro Nikai late on May 23.

Likewise, China hopes Japan could introduce attractive policies for Chinese companies to invest in the sector, such as hotels and travel agencies, Li added.

Led by Nikai, a 3,000-member Japanese delegation, including heads of local governments and big enterprises, arrived in Beijing on May 22 to attend a series of cultural, tourism and trade events.

This is the largest mission between the two countries since the Japanese government’s “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands in Sept 2012 chilled bilateral ties.

Li said the event offered a chance for the two countries to further boost tourism cooperation.

Tourism between the two countries also cooled following the island “purchase” in 2012 and visits by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine, a spiritual symbol of Japan’s aggression that honors war criminals.

In 2013, Chinese tourists to Japan dropped 6.5 percent year on year to 1.83 million. But as relations gradually improved, the trend is on the rise. Last year, more than 2.4 million Chinese tourists visited Japan.