WTTCNODA-jjTOKYO — Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda opened the World Travel & Tourism Summit in Tokyo, citing the importance of tourism for Japan's economy.

“Tourism is the frontier for Japan,” Noda said to the 1,200 delegates in attendance for the second part of the WTTC Summit. The first day of the summit was held in Japan's northeastern city of Sendai. 

"I am confident in the power of tourism," Noda added, saying that tourism was not only vital to world economies but "develops trust among people across borders.

Noda specifically implored attendees to help stimulate tourism to the Tohoku region, the area devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011.

"Those who visited, surely you noticed a clear scene of recovery and reconstruction," Noda said. "I am sure you are fully aware that Japan is a safe and pleasant destination for business, international conferences and all areas of tourism. ... I hope you can convince the world about the attractive and safe tourism resources in the Tohoku region."

Michael Frenzel, chairman of TUI AG and WTTC chairman, said following Noda's remarks, "There is no doubt in our minds that Japan is well and truly open for business once again."

Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw.

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