Press Tour (No.089)



Foreign Correspondents’ Press Tour in Kansai

Organized by The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion

Cooperated by Mie Prefecture


April 4(Mon.)-5(Tue.), 2016




Upcoming Ise-Shima Summit!  Press Tour in Mie

-  Conserving and Maximizing the Blessings of Nature  -


   On the 26th and 27th of May 2016, the G7 Summit dubbed the Ise-Shima Summit, will be held at Kashikojima Island, Shima City, Mie Prefecture. This will be the sixth Summit Meeting in Japan after the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. This will also be the third Summit held in a local region following Okinawa in 2000 and Hokkaido in 2008.


   Kashikojima Island is the main venue of the Ise-Shima Summit. It is a part of Ise-Shima National Park, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016. The island is located in Ago Bay and attracts many tourists with its natural beauty. Prime Minister Abe explained that this place was selected because “this is the place where the world leaders can experience Japanese beautiful nature, rich traditions, and culture at first hand”.


   This tour will visit Ise-Shima, Mie where the G7 Summit will take place. At the Shima Kanko Hotel, the main venue of the meeting, Governor Eikei Suzuki will introduce the enthusiasm of the local people. This tour will also visit the frontlines of the research and activities on conserving and maximizing the blessings of nature of Ise-Shima.





 Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki

The Summit Meeting is a Once-in-a-million Opportunity!

PR of Mie at Shima Kanko Hotel, the main venue of the Summit





■ Ise-Shima National Park

Where Traditional Landscape and Rich Culture are Alive


-Ago Bay; Enjoy the Unique Landscape by Sea Kayaking

-Futami Okitama Shrine Meotoiwa; Picturesque Scene of Wedded Rocks





■ Mie Brand - Pearl

Collaboration between Nature and People

Seeking the Highest Quality -KAKUDA Pearl Co. Ltd.





■ Mie Brand - Japanese Spiny Lobster

The world's pioneer in artificial production of juvenile spiny lobster

Mie Prefecture Fisheries Research Institute






*Please refer to the "Highlights  of the Tour" for the details of each topic.




Tour Date Apr 4(Mon) - Apr 5(Tue),2016
Qualification Bearer of Press Registration Card issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tour Fee Please refer to the attached application form
Organized by

The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion
Osaka Nakanoshima Building 7F, 2-2-2 Nakanoshima Kitaku, Osaka City 

Cooperated by Mie Pref.
Capacity 12 (1 reporter from each company, 2 for a TV company - 2 TV companies max for this tour)
Closing date/time for Application Mar 21(Mon),2016 05:00 PM
■The Foundation for Kansai Region Promotion, in cooperation with Mie Prefectural Government, organizes this press tour with a goal of disseminating information from Mie directly to the world through the participants' reports/articles based on press activities during the tour. We also ask participants to return their questionnaires after the tour. We ask for your understanding and cooperation on those point.

■Some restrictions on photographing and filming at the sites are expected. Please follow the instructions of the staff on duty.

■The Foundation and the local parties concerned shall bear no responsibility whatsoever for any accidents or inconveniences that may arise during the press tour. The itinerary is subject to change due to business obligations of interviewees, weather conditions or other circumstances.

■Applications will be accepted on this page by the time of the above-mentioned deadline, but please note that if the number of applicants has reached the prescribed number before your application, your name will be put on a waiting list for cancellation.

■The Foundation may set an upper limit on the number of participants from each country/region and may decide participants in view of their past records based on the press tours if the reporters joined in the past, when it receives oversubscribed applications.

The Highlights of the Tour

Mie Governor Eikei Suzuki

The Summit Meeting is a Once-in-a-million Opportunity!



   Mass media inside and outside Japan are now focused on Mie, where the 42nd G7 Summit will be held. This tour will meet Governor Eikei Suzuki who worked hard to organize the Summit.


   The Summit is about two months away. Since this once-in-a-million opportunity is here, Mie Pref. has been conducting promotional activities, road renovations around the site, and so on. According to Hyakugo Economic Research Institute, the economic benefits will be 111 billion yen (about 1 billion dollars) for the five years after the Summit. It is also estimated that tourists from inside and outside of Japan and the number of international conferences hosted in the region will rapidly increase. The economic ripple effect is expected to far surpass that of the 2008 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.


   This tour will meet Governor Eikei Suzuki at Shima Kanko Hotel, the main venue of the Summit. Governor Suzuki will explain the enthusiasm of the local people and the strategy he has led since his appointment in 2011, such as inviting companies and encouraging cooperation between the public and the private sector.






Shima Kanko Hotel 

Long-established Prestigious Hotel and the Main Venue of the Summit Meeting



   Shima Kanko Hotel, opened in 1951 on the hill of Kashikojima Island in Ago Bay, was a first full-scale western style resort hotel in Japan, which was sponsored jointly by Mie Pref. government, Kintetsu Railways, and Mie Kotsu Co., Ltd.. Being popular as “Shima-kan”, it has welcomed many honored guests as the guesthouse in the Ise-Shima region. It is also well known that the hotel was the setting for “Kareinaru Ichizoku” or the Glorious Family by Toyoko Yamazaki. The novel was made into a movie and filmed at the hotel.


This tour will meet Governor Suzuki at the hotel.

*There are some restrictions on photographing/filming at the hotel. Please follow the instructions of the officials on duty.

(Photo: Shima Kanko Hotel Bay Suite and sun-set view from the lounge on the 5th Fl)









Ise-Shima National Park

Where Traditional Japanese Landscape and Rich Culture are Alive

Ago bay and more than 60 islands make up its unique landscape



   Kashikojima, the venue of the Summit Meeting, is located in Ise-Shima National Park, which includes Shima Peninsula and its surrounding areas. The park is approximately 60,000 hectares wide and can be divided into two areas: the inland area, which includes the Ise-Jingu shrine and the deep forest that spreads behind the shrine, and the bay area, which includes the ria coastline and a complex topography with numerous inlets and capes. Private lands account for 96% of the lands of Ise-Shima National Park. Thus, many people reside in the park. This percentage is much higher than other national parks. This is a rare national park where we can sense the life, history, culture, and traditions of the local people as well as the beautiful landscapes.


   This tour will give participants the opportunity to meet Mr. Shun Amemiya, National Park Ranger of Ise-Shima National Park, to hear about the attractions of this park. They will also be briefed on the effort to revive the tideland in Ago Bay, which was lost in land reclamation.



[Enjoy the landscapes created by the combination of nature and the daily lives of locals!]

   Ise-Shima National Park is famous for its landscapes along the complex ria coast, which consists of Ago Bay and more than 60 islands of various sizes. They look like a masterpiece painting. Tour participants will paddle sea kayaks and have opportunities to take photographs of the seascapes formed by nature and local people's activities. Teruo Shouga, Manager of Shima Nature School, will teach participants how to paddle sea kayaks and guide them to the photographic spots in Ago Bay, such as the coast and the farming rafts of pearl oysters and the farming net of sea lettuce.

   This tour will also visit two other photographic spots: the Yokoyama Observatory Deck (140 meters high), to which Michelin Green Guide Japon gave one star, and the Kirigaki Observatory Deck, which is popular for its sunset views.


*The activities are subject to change due to weather conditions or other circumstances. 

(Photo Top: Islands in Ago Bay, Middle: Pearl Farming Rafts and Sea Kayak, Bottom: Sea Lettuce Net)





Mie Brand – Pearl;

Collaboration between Nature and People



   Pearls are harvested from Akoya oysters. The Ise-Shima region of Mie is the place where Koukichi Mikimoto succeeded with the world's first pearl farm. Since then, this region has been world famous for its cultured pearls. Ago Bay is particularly suitable for pearl farming; it has many inlets and calm sea waves. The pearls produced there are highly appreciated.



[Seeking the Highest Quality - KAKUDA PEARL CO., LTD.]

   Lustrous, unblemished, and perfectly spherical -this is the ideal pearl. Even with the enormous effort put into the process of pearl cultivation, only 5% of the nuclei inserted oysters are ranked at the level of highest quality. This tour will visit KAKUDA PEARL CO., LTD., established in 1931. The quality of its products is well known to buyers worldwide.


   KAKUDA seeks perfect quality and places top priority on luster, the core beauty of pearls. The company completely controls the process of pearl products, from cultivation to necklace making. This ensures the high quality of its products. Very few pearl companies in the world have this kind of total control system. The company's innovativeness made it a pioneer company to breed a nursery culture of Akoya oysters. It also had an early focus on opportunities overseas. Now the company owns large aqua farms in Indonesia, and is actively developing its business in Europe, the US, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, etc.


   This tour will visit the headquarters of the company in Ise City. George Kakuta, the CEO of the company, will explain the features of the company, its future business development, the latest market trends inside and outside Japan, etc. He will also explain the activities of “Mie Prefecture Pearl Promotion Council”, the council of pearl-related organizations in Mie promoting Mie branded pearls.





Mie Brand - Japanese Spiny Lobster; King of Seafood

The world's pioneer in artificial production of juvenile spiny lobster

Mie Prefecture Fisheries Research Institute



   The Japanese spiny lobster, one of the specialties of the Ise-Shima region, is essential foodstuff for celebrations as a symbol of longevity or prosperity. In 2014, the catch quota in Mie Pref. was 264 tons, taking first place in Japan and accounting for a 20.4% share of the Japanese market. The production value (in 2013) amounts to 1.2 billion yen (about $12 million) and also tops the list. In order to conserve the precious marine product, Mie pref. has set strict fishing regulations, while the prefecture's Fisheries Research Institute has been researching the artificial rearing of the lobster since 1925 to increase the natural resources.


   After the hatch, the spiny lobster floats in the ocean in the form of plankton called “phyllosoma” =photo:Upper left= for about one year. It metamorphoses to “puerulus” larva =photo:Upper right=, and then, a juvenile spiny lobster =photo:Lower left= and starts to live in shore reefs. Much is unknown about the life and growth of those larvae and the artificial rearing was considered to be difficult. However Mie prefecture Fisheries Research Institute kept researching to bring them up to a juvenile spiny lobster. In 1988, it finally succeeded in artificially producing one juvenile spiny lobster for the first time. Only one lobster survived from 1,000 “phyllosoma” in the first year, but thanks to the improvement of the rearing technique about 60% of larvae survived in 2014. The research at the Institute has focused not on farming, but on the increase of natural resources of the lobster.


   In the summer of 2015, it released 25 artificially produced juvenile lobsters (about 10cm) into the sea for the first time. They were blue-tagged, and it was planned to investigate how many adult individuals can be captured one or two years after the release. Unexpectedly, however, in late November, three months after the release, one individual (about 13cm) was captured in a fisher's net, confirming that it was growing steadily. Following the release of the artificially produced juvenile spiny lobsters, the confirmation of growth is also unprecedented and receiving a lot of attention.


   Japanese spiny lobster is expensive food and it does not travel so much in the sea. Therefore, it is expected to be a valuable candidate for a cultural fishery if it becomes possible to release the artificially produced juvenile lobsters into the sea and catch the adults. This result shows that the dream of the local fishery industry is a real possibility. This tour will visit the frontline of the research.

(Photo Upper left: Phyllosoma, Upper right: Puerulus, Lower left: Juvenile lobster, Lower right: Grown up lobster)




[The Development of the Super Akoya Oyster, High Quality Oyster for Pearl Production]


This tour will interview the researcher/developer of the Super Akoya oyster, too!

   To improve the productivity of pearl farming, it is essential to increase the survival rate of the nuclei inserted oysters and improve the production rate of high-quality pearls. To meet this expectation, the Institute developed the Super Akoya oyster, which has a higher survival rate and holds high quality pearls. This oyster was developed based on the oysters that have the power to close their shells. The power is hereditary, thus, descendant oysters have stronger power to close their shells. These oysters can keep their health in the season when the oysters are easily exhausted because of high temperature water. They also have a good survival rate and hold high quality pearls.

   This tour will interview the researcher/developer of the Super Akoya oyster, too.





Apr 4(Mon)

Start of the tour at Kintetsu Ise-shi Sta.

Mie Brand -Pearl


Ise-Shima National Park
(2)Photo-taking/Sea Kayaking

Overnight Stay in Ise-Shima


Apr 5(Tue)

Mie Brand -Japanese Spiny Lobster
(Mie Pref. Fisheries Research Institute)

Shima Kanko Hotel
(1) Interview with Governor Mie
(2) Photo-taking and Interview with GM of the hotel


Futami Okitama Shrine -Meotoiwa Rocks

End of Tour at Kintetsu Uji-yamada Sta.