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Speech made by Mr Hayao Hora, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, at the VJC Promtion Committee launch reception

5 May 04

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. On the occasion of this evening's reception for the Japan-UK Tourism Meeting, I would like to say a few words on behalf of Minister Ishihara, who is in charge of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and head of the VJC Steering Committee.

This evening we have been honoured by the presence of many people who are engaged in businesses in the UK related to tourism between the United Kingdom and Japan. I would like to thank you all for your attendance.

Previously, Ambassador Orita explained the purpose of the Visit Japan Campaign. The entire government of Japan is making efforts to promote international tourism.

Promotion such as advertising Japan using various media and inviting travel agents to Japan for tour development will be intensively implemented this year. Your kind support and cooperation will be invaluable in this campaign.

Two videos for promoting tourism to Japan will be shown after my speech. One is a video featuring Prime Minister Koizumi. The other is a very new video in which Minister Ishihara appears. This will be the first time for it to be shown here today.

By the way, I have heard that the film Lost in Translation, which won an Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay this year, has become a topic of conversation in the UK. I saw the film in Tokyo last month. The screenplay of this is written by Director Sofia Coppola based on her own experiences during her stay in Japan. Although appraisals differ among the Japanese, the film projects contemporary Japan, Japanese people and Japanese culture as it is. Some British people may be interested in Japan after seeing this film. It is still running at cinema complexes in London, so please do see the film if you have not yet seen it. Moreover, please introduce the movie to those who have not yet visited Japan as an advertising tool for promoting tourism to Japan.

I would like to conclude my speech by hoping that, with your support for the Visit Japan Campaign, more of the wonderful people in this country will develop an interest in Japan and visit Japan in the future.

Thank you for joining us today.



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