Egypt’s Ministers of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Antiquities have called on the Japanese government to reconsider a travel ban placed on Egypt due to the political unrest experienced over the last two months.
In a meeting on Tuesday with Japanese Ambassador Toshiro Suzuki, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou, Minister of Civil Aviation Abdul Aziz Fadel and Minister of State for Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim asked the ambassador to remove the ban, which was handed down by the Japanese government in August following several incidents of violence in Egypt.
Fadel expressed his appreciation for Japan’s stance towards Egypt and the investment given to Egypt, which helped fund the construction of Hall 1 at Burg Al-Arab Airport in Alexandria. He said that the ministry will continue to cooperate with Japan “despite the decline in tourism.” He called on the Japanese government to reconsider the travel ban “by degrees,” especially for certain geographic areas.
Zaazou confirmed the importance of Japanese tourism to Egypt and said that the Ministry of Tourism would offer “a lot of incentives” to encourage Japanese tourists to come to Egypt, in cooperation with the civil aviation ministry.
Ibrahim said that Japanese tourists make up a large part of the cultural tourism in Egypt, pointing out that the Japanese have a particular interest in visiting sites of “Egypt’s ancient treasures, particularly those in Luxor and Aswan.”
The ministers also discussed future plans for initiatives to support domestic tourism, which according the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has received enormous support from the Egyptian people.
The Ministry also pointed out that Egypt and Japan signed an air transportation treaty in 1962, and that Japanese tourism peaked in 2010 when approximately 100,000 tourists visited Egypt.