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  • Irony: Japan Post Office issuing “YOKOSO JAPAN” stamps January

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 29th, 2007

    Hi Blog. Here’s your daily hohoemi–with irony. Courtesy of HG:

    ===========================
    Hey Debito, Japanese Post is planning 10 commemorative stamps for Jan. 23, 2008 to promote the YOKOSO JAPAN campaign.

    http://www.post.japanpost.jp/kitte_hagaki/stamp/tokusyu/2007/h190123_t.html

    (Nothing on the stamps in English, of course. And nothing on the official YOKOSO JAPAN Blogs about the new Fingerprinting rules, of course.)

    10 million foreign tourists by 2010? Say WHAT?

    So far, less stringent measures (Green Card holders are exempt) in the US have led to a drop totalling 6 million tourists on a yearly basis since introduction of the FP requirement. Despite an ever weaker dollar (shall we now call it “North American Peso”?? *ggg*).

    BTW, face value of the stamps is 80 yen each – domestic first class postage. So the foreign tourists are mainly left out of this… ;-).
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    Amazing. Stamps for tourists that tourists can’t even use to send a letter home? Provided the tourists want to come here anyway and be treated like terrorists and criminals. Makes you wonder if policymakers ever think things through. Debito

    11 Responses to “Irony: Japan Post Office issuing “YOKOSO JAPAN” stamps January”

    1. Mark Says:

      Amazing. Stamps for tourists that tourists can’t even use to send a letter home? Provided the tourists want to come here anyway and be treated like terrorists and criminals. Makes you wonder if policymakers ever think things through.

      Debito,

      That’s the point, of course. The Yokoso pitch and the piddling amount they spent on it was never to entice foreign visitors, but instead a campaign for the Japanese to feel good about their country with the idea that millions would want to come here.

      It’s not unlike the Monkashou-approved English texbooks that are not filled with stories on countries that speak English but rather about Japan. This is because the point of learning English (other than entrance exams) is to teach the world about Japan’s unique culture.

    2. Robert Says:

      Maybe the whole Yokoso Japan! isn’t intended for foreigners; just native Japanese to “rediscover” Japan.

    3. Gary Says:

      debito sometimes when I try to read a news story on JAPAN (usually a bad story) I can’t acess the page , what do you think conspiracy…..
      I was trying to acess the sex slave story ,

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/default.stm

      but get this

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7118249.stm

    4. DM Says:

      “# Robert Says:
      November 29th, 2007 at 5:39 pm

      Maybe the whole Yokoso Japan! isn’t intended for foreigners; just native Japanese to “rediscover” Japan.”

      Maybe I’m wrong but it seems the gov’t’s international Yokoso campaign has recently been farmed off to a private tourism company. The campaign does seem more aimed at keeping Japanese vacationers at home than attracting foreigner visitors. It’s a sham, the idea that Japan wants foreign tourism an/or investment, this isn’t the Bahamas, the J-economy is not based on that sort of thing. Yes and maybe I’m a cynic, but when FP protesters say “this will discourage foreign tourists and businessmen from coming to Japan” I imagine the Japanese power elite smiling.

    5. Greg M Says:

      This once again shows that the entire “YOKOSO JAPAN!” program is just internal PR to make people feel like they are living in an “international Japan” without all of the baggage associated with actual internationalization.

      If it looks somewhat like a duck, quacks similar to a duck, but doesn’t want actual ducks around, isn’t that good enough?

    6. Jake Says:

      Of course. This is all about domestic tourism promotion, in the same vein as the countless TV programs introducing utterly obscure hole-in-the-wall onsens and what-have-you: now that we’re in an age where it’s cheaper to fly to Korea or Saipan for a week than it is to take the train up to Hokkaido for a couple of days, they really need to get the Japanese public psyched up about vacationing in Japan.

      Nothing to do with international tourists at all — they’re just trying to keep the Japanese tourists in Japan.

    7. 1TruthTeller Says:

      I’m surfing the TV as I read this, and as Jake says, “the countless TV programs introducing utterly obscure hole-in-the-wall onsens and what-have-you” there’s one on right now. Two “debu-dudes” and a gyaru-Sone painted up like a Picadilly whore gorging themselves on endless plates of “volume UP!” local dishes.
      What can I say…..”Mayyuuuu!”

      Get me OUTTA here!

    8. taiko666 Says:

      It’s a shame they’re not using this version of the Yokoso Japan logo.

      http://www.stippy.com/japan-news-and-media/foreigners-landing-in-japan-to-be-fingerprinted/#comments

      My colleague and I can be seen waving placards with this logo outside the MOJ in the recent fingerprint protest :-)

      http://mdn.mainichi.jp/photospecials/graph/071120protest/5.html

    9. Yokoso_tee Says:

      Show your displeasure with current xenophobic policies like the fingerprinting of ALL foreigners by wearing the “Yokoso Japan 11/20 Commemorative tee”: Protest t-shirt.

      Available at http://samuraicanuck.tripod.com
      or email: yokoso_tee@joka.powweb.com

    10. Garrett Says:

      Not to be a wet blanket, but first, isn’t 80 yen also the postage for a postcard overseas? Second, do many foreign tourists pay attention to the issues that bother foreign residents of Japan?

      I guess next year’s tourism numbers will tell, but we’re a long way away from having those.

    11. Smith Frenzy Says:

      Yokoso Japan is one side of a 2-sided campaign: the other side is the “Welcome to Japan” campaign. Yokoso Japan is aimed at Japanese residents, Welcome to Japan is aimed at foreigners. This is how it was 4 years ago, anyway.

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