Japan will showcase ninja culture for the world to attract more foreign visitors.
Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki and several lawmakers met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his office in Tokyo on Wednesday. They wore ninja costumes to the meeting. What is today Mie Prefecture was home to the "Iga ninja" group.
They handed a scroll to Abe instead of an ordinary letter. It calls for ninja to be promoted as one of Japan's cultures at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in Japan.
Ninja in feudal Japan were highly trained professional spies with almost magical powers of stealth and secrecy.
They are popular heroes in samurai stories.
Abe said the government will feature ninja culture at those events, as well as the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. The prime minister noted that he hopes ninja will become a major draw for tourists.
Governor Suzuki told reporters that he hopes Japan will work as a team to promote ninja. He said he also aims to revitalize local communities.