Cherry Blossom Festival Special Symposium on Tourism to Japan

March 23, 2012

The Washington Post Conference Center
1150 15th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 


2012 marks the centennial of Japan's gift of the cherry blossom trees to Washington, DC. To commemorate this very special occasion, a symposium on tourism to Japan will be held. March 2012 also marks the one year anniversary of the tragic Grear East Japan Earthquake. This symposium will be an occasion to highlight Japan's recovery efforts.


  • Ministry of Land, Infrastracture, Transport and Tourism of Japan

  • Japan Tourism Agency

  • Embassy of Japan

  • Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)


  • Exhibits on Japan's attraction as tourist destinations, with introduction of Japanese high speed rail system

Opening Remarks:


  • Ryoichi Matsuyama

    • President, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

Keynote Speeches


  • Irene Hirano Inouye

    • President, U.S.-Japan Council

  • Ichiro Fujisaki

    • Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America

  •  Thomas R. Nides

    • Deputy Secretary of State

  •  Takashi Kitamura

    • Vice Minister for Transport, Tourism and International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan

(1) U.S. Viewpoints


  •  Vinay Dube

    • Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Delta Air Lines

  • Michael Yamashita

    • National Geographic Photographer

  • Kenneth Kiesnoski

    • Editor, Destinations & Special Supplements, Travel Weekly

(2) Japanese Viewpoints

  •  Takao Nishiyama

    • Executive Director, New York Office, Japan Railways Group

  • Nobuo Hashimoto

    • General Manager of Market Department, Railway Operations Headquarters, West Japan Railway Company

  • Junichi Hidaka

    • Director, Deputy Director General of Railway Operations Headquarters, General Manager of Transportation Department, Kyushu Railway Company

Closing Remarks:


  • Makoto Washizu

    • President, Japan International Transport Institute (JITI)

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