Japan PM urges new plan to boost tourism

Tokyo, Nov 9 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday urged his cabinet to come up with a new plan by March 2016 to boost tourism in the country.

The government had set a goal of increasing the annual number of foreign tourists to 20 million by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Estimates for this year showed more than 15 million people had visited Japan by September.

Earlier in the day, Abe chaired a meeting of a new tourism panel to discuss how to attract more tourists.

Abe told the meeting that his administration has set a goal of expanding Japan’s GDP to 600 trillion yen ($4.9 trillion). He said the tourism industry can serve as a driving force to achieve such economic growth.

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