Monday, February 13, 2012

Sometimes An Idea... so bad you cannot imagine anyone ever thinking it.
Japan enlists foreign bloggers to revive tourism in quake-hit areas

TOKYO -- Japan's Foreign Ministry is inviting prominent overseas bloggers and twitterers to visit areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The ministry has launched the initiative to revive the tourist industry in quake-hit northeastern Japan. It wants foreign guests to write about the progress made in rebuilding disaster-ravaged communities and let the world know that the area still remains an appealing holiday destination.

At the ministry's invitation, Spanish blogger Roger Ortuno Flamerich came to Japan in December, followed by Louisa Liu Chu, 45, a food blogger from Chicago and Khaled Hamza, 48, editor-in-chief of the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt, who arrived here on Jan. 31.

Hamza's group is a well-known Islamist movement that played a pivotal role in bringing down the autocratic government of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Hamza made a daytrip to Ishinomaki, Miyagi, the prefecture closest to the epicenter of the March 2011 temblor, to inspect reconstruction sites. Chu spent three days visiting fish markets and sake brewers in Kesennuma and Sendai, two other Miyagi cities.

Deciding to mobilize the immense communicative power of blogs and Twitter, the Foreign Ministry earmarked some 21.5 million yen for the project for the current fiscal year through March.

This month, two influential twitterers -- a Chilean university professor and a Chinese children's storywriter -- will come to visit... (Link)
I know what you are thinking: please tell me this is all just a weird dream.

Will someone please explain to me, in simple terms, so that I might understand, exactly how this program is going to seriously alter conditions set by the rock hard yen, the international fears of radiation and the country's poor tourism planning and development?


My thanks to The Tokyo Times for unearthing this gem of bureaucratic out-of-box-out-of-mind thinking.


Avery said...

This is a highly modified version of the original idea, which was to pay for flights to bring 10,000 totally random foreigners to Tohoku.

That, at least, was deemed an insensitively extravagant use of government funds during a period when the region is still being rebuilt.

Ourmani Nabiko said...

The editor of the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood? How can this be a bad idea?

kmns said...

Isn't is too much of gallicism to hyphenate all the words of "out of box out of mind" rather than to make them into two attributive phrases?

John Mock said...

"the country's poor tourism planning and development" needs to be written in all caps and underlined, it is overwhelmingly the reason for the weak state of tourism in Japan, even internal tourism. Obviously, the current high yen hurts but Japan has never been "tourist friendly" and shows no signs of changing.