In an effort to boost local economies and tourism in Japan, the Japanese government plans to offer internet access through 30,000 free Wi-Fi spots across the country. Starting with the most popular tourist destinations, the project will be fully realized by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics.
The objective is to provide Wi-Fi access information in several languages at zero cost. The government estimates to increase the tourism in Japan by 1.46 million each year and believes easy Wi-Fi access will be a key reason for the increase. As many potential visitors choose their visits thanks to posts, blogs or websites from others visitors’ impressions, the free wireless access will bring more visibility to interesting locations throughout Japan.
The targeted locations are mostly national parks, museums and famous Japanese scenic locations, but will also include access in several brand new tourist information centers that will open in the future.
These 30,000 free wireless services will also be found in evacuation facilities which is a way to help tourists caught in a natural disaster. The cost of the operation is estimated around ¥31.1 billion in and is being paid by the government with assistance from private firms operating the networks.