Indian corporate groups look to Japan for learning experiences

Indian and south-east Asian corporate groups are looking at Japan as a business events destination as a result of unique learning opportunities stimulating their interest in the country. Industry stakeholders and corporate buyers say the country is increasingly seen as a place where corporate visitors can grow professionally.

Etsuko Kawasaki, executive director of the Japan Convention and Visitors Bureau, revealed that a 2016 study on why people chose Japan as a business events destination shows that the ability to “gain flashes of insight”, and its location as a place “where knowledge and talent meet”, were two of the top responses. Others were that it is safe and clean and cites a track record in providing quality experiences.

In 2018, Japan is adding more centres for learning to its portfolio of unique venues, including Yamagata Museum of Art and Aichi Museum of Flight, which showcases airplanes made in Japan. Increasing numbers of business visitors to other museums in Japan augur well for the anticipated success of these new venues.

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Aichi Prefecture welcomed 460,000 visitors in 2017, up from 420,000 in 2016. About 20 per cent of visitors were from overseas, from companies in South-east Asia and India that are Japan-owned.

Toshihide Narita, deputy director and curator of the museum, said South Asia and South-east Asia are growing markets for the museum because more Japanese companies are establishing operations there and want their staff to have an understanding of Japanese industry and technology. The museum tour is usually part of their staff training. Narita added: “Our museum promotes the spirit of studiousness and creativity,” he said, adding that it “shows how challenges have been overcome through R&D”.

The synergy of Japan’s automotive and healthcare industries have generated great interest from Indian corporate groups from the same industries to visit Japan for their events as well as glean substantive learning as a result of such interface with their counterparts in Japan. JNTO’s president Satoshi Seino highlighted Japan’s appeal as a learning destination at Visit Japan Travel & MICE Mart at Tokyo’s Big Site.