Japan’s Tourism: Growing Visitor Numbers and Lack of Staff

Japan is a vibrant country full of anime, culture, and a host of interesting sights. It is no wonder then that tourists have been visiting the island nation in record numbers, yet with this growth there is a problem arising. Namely, a lack of qualified staff to accommodate them.

Growing Visitor Numbers

With nearly 30 million foreign visitors in 2018, Japan’s visiting numbers have soared over the past few years. Moreover, the country has set a goal that they hope to have 40 million tourists by 2020. Such an increase of tourists gives Japan an impressive potential for economic growth, but has also brought to light a major issue.

Lack of Skilled Workers

Employers in the Japanese tourism industry are struggling to find people with the skills to effectively work with an increasingly diverse and extensive range of visitors.

It’s not just about having Japanese language ability either; many businesses require people who can also speak at least one other language in order to communicate with international guests.

Solution: Immigration

In order to deal with this problem, the Japanese government has proposed a plan to increase the availability of skilled workers through immigration. However, this plan has yet to be passed into law and so remains on hold.

The government was also considering other measures such as creating more English language learning opportunities, as well as encouraging volunteerism.


Japan’s tourism sector is continuing to grow, yet it is facing a lack of skilled workers to meet the increasing demand. The government has proposed measures to allow for more immigration, yet this plan has not been finalized. In the meantime, the tourism industry is hoping that more people can learn English and other languages to make up for this shortage.

In conclusion, Japan must do more if it wishes to reach its ambitious tourism goals. Until then, the country will have to find other ways of dealing with the current lack of qualified personnel.