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News 24

'Surprisingly fast' post-quake recovery spurs Japan to growth

Arrivals in Japan from key markets including the UK, US and Australia are returning to levels reached before the horrific earthquake of March 2011, as the country makes a "surprisingly fast" recovery.

Japan still managed to rank 13th in the International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) country rankings for 2011, despite three-quarters of the year being post-quake.

"We thought it was going to be a lot worse," said Chad Shiver, conventions manager at the Japan National Tourism Organization. "About 95 per cent of forward events cancelled for three months, then many went ahead as planned. Last autumn, six months after the earthquake, we were as busy as the autumn previous. It hadn't hurt us as much as we first expected. It was the corporate clients that came back first - they had business relationships there and there was an element of CSR, but associations are coming back now."

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