The two countries today decided to strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector.
"We have decided to strengthen cooperation in tourism sector with Japan. We also discussed possibilities of signing an MoU for this purpose and the modalities of the MoU are being worked out," Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said after meeting Japan's Senior Vice-Minister of Tourism Hiroshi Kajiyama here.
It was also decided that both the countries will identify areas for working together and explore new opportunities in tourism sector especially in the field of human resource development, exchange of tour operators, investment in the tourism sector and exchange of information.
We also offered investment opportunities in hospitality sector to Japan as the government has allowed 100 per cent FDI in the sector, Chiranjeevi said.
India and Japan are important tourism markets to each other. Japan is one of the top ten tourist generating markets for India as for as inbound tourism is concerned. India has offered the Visa on Arrival facility to Japan since 2010.
The number Japanese tourists in 2008 was 1,45,352 in 2008, which rose to 1,93,525 in 2011.
There is a strong interest of Japanese tourists in places connected with Buddhism in India. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has extended loan of 7,331 million Japanese Yen (Rs 299 crore) for Development of Ajanta Ellora Conservation and Development Programme.
Tourism Ministry will be holding road shows in Tokyo on February 18 and February 20 in Osaka to attract Japanese tourists.