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On a clear day, Happo Pond reflects the Hakuba Sanzan mountain range. Photo: Nagano Prefecture/JNTO

Leading Environmental and Energy Transition

Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture provides the ideal setting for the world’s environment and energy minds to meet

Japan’s chosen host prefecture for the G20 Ministerial Meeting On Energy Transitions And Global Environment For Sustainable Growth is Nagano, a mountainous region known for its stunning natural beauty and cutting-edge industrial practices. According to its governor, Shuichi Abe, the meeting represents an opportunity for the prefecture to double down on its goals for energy transition and environmental protection.

The prefecture is home to a thriving manufacturing industry. Precision and electronics manufacturing are particular strengths. Now, Abe plans to boost this economic motor further with new projects. “I’d like to shift the entire manufacturing industry to cutting-edge areas that have great promise for the future. We are working on building an Asian center for aircraft systems. We would like people in the aircraft industry to pay attention to what we are doing and invest here,” said the governor.

“Some have called Karuizawa ‘the Davos of the East’ for its reputation as a MICE destination”

Susumu Fujimaki, Mayor of Karuizawa

Nagano is also one of Japan’s most promising tourist destinations, with the resort town of Karuizawa the jewel in its crown. Karuizawa, host city for the G20 Ministerial Meeting, has been a tourism and retreat center for years, naming the Japanese royal family among its guests. Now, the town is building upon its assets by hosting major Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism events, including the G7 Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2015.

The 65-feet-high Snow Walls Corridor connects Nagano and Toyama prefectures. Photo: Nagano Prefecture/JNTO

Mayor Susumu Fujimaki sees the G20 meeting as a perfect stage for building this market segment up, as well as for positioning the town as a role model for sustainable growth. “I expect our existing hotels will improve their infrastructure to become high-class hotels with good conference facilities. I am confident that this will lead to growth and more investors will arrive,” Fujimaki said.

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