The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan to Strengthen Oversight of National Park Hotels

August 8, 2018

Tokyo- Japan's Environment Ministry plans to strengthen its oversight of hotels operating at national parks to prevent them from becoming ghost buildings, officials said.

The move is aimed at helping protect landscapes of national parks.

Japan has 34 such parks. At Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which includes Mount Fuji and enjoys the largest number of visitors, some 250 hotel facilities have been approved under the natural parks law.

Ghost hotels have become issues at national parks across Japan recently because many large-scale accommodation facilities that were built during the country's economic bubble era of the 1980s went bankrupt due to the economic downturn following the bursting of the bubbles.

Hotel operators are currently obliged to report the number of guests to the ministry. But the requirement is not enough for it to grasp any deterioration in their finances.

The ministry plans to ask operators to regularly submit financial statements when issuing new permits in an effort to assess their conditions accurately.

The statements will be examined by accountants and other experts. The ministry is also considering a program to recognize financially strong operators.

The ministry is set to outline these plans in a report later this month and flesh out details later. Jiji Press