Transport Ministry Scrambles To Attract Foreign Tourists At Haneda, Narita

Transport ministry scrambles to attract foreign tourists at Haneda, NaritaThe transport ministry is trying to lure more international carriers to Tokyo's Haneda Airport by cutting landing fees by half between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., starting in November.

Due to a lack of public transportation and other factors, there are currently 17 unused arrival and departure slots for flights in the late-night and early morning hours at Haneda.

The ministry also said it will organize local sightseeing tours for transit passengers using Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture.

The moves come as Japan plans to double the number of foreign tourists to the nation to 20 million annually by 2020, when the Tokyo Summer Olympics will be held.

The ministry plans to slash landing fees in half for the first year after an airline company begins using a slot. It will offer a 30 percent discount for the second year and 20 percent for the third year.

To encourage airlines to use the late-night and early morning slots, the ministry will also provide five shuttle bus services connecting Haneda to major railway stations in the capital, including Shinjuku, Shibuya and Tokyo, in hours between the last trains and first trains.

For transit passengers using Narita Airport, the ministry plans to organize brief tours to visit landmarks around the airport, including the famed Naritasan Shinshoji temple and the Shisui Premium Outlets mall.

The tours will take only a few hours, enabling tourists to get in a spot of sightseeing before or after their flights at Narita.

Incheon International Airport in South Korea and Singapore's Changi Airport host similar short sightseeing tours, which have proved popular.