“Virtual Japan Platform” launched

04 Apr 2021

JTB Corp.

Starting with 1.25 million members in Asia -
Generating exchanges and commercial flows that integrate the real and the virtual world

 

 

JTB Corporation, Fun Japan Communications, Inc. and FIXER Inc. will launch the "Virtual Japan Platform" business. This will recreate Japan in a virtual space using XR technology (*), and allow people worldwide to gather in ever-evolving cities and facilities while enjoying sightseeing, shopping and various contents. Through this platform, we will create exchanges, commercial flows and information flows around Japan in the virtual space, maintain sustainable relationships with local communities even when movements are restricted, and stimulate travel after Corona, to recover the tourism industry and revitalize local communities.

 

(*) XR technology: A generic term for technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR).

Fun Japan Communications, a JTB Group company that publishes an introduction to Japan with the "Fun! Japan" media, will be in charge of promoting the business and will start user registration in stages from the end of April. The first step will be to convert the 1.25 million subscribers of the company's media, who are fans of Japan in the Asian region, into users of the platform. After that, we will increase the number of users in more countries and regions, aiming to boost the number of users in Japan as well.

 

Personnel exchanges between JTB and FIXER have already begun. The JTB Group, with its extensive tourism network and more than 100 years of experience in hospitality, will create excitement, while FIXER, with its cutting-edge technology and speedy development, will bring it to life. With this powerful partnership, we will contribute to realizing a sustainable, peaceful and affluent society.

 

  • Background

 

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought an immeasurable blow to the global economy and tourism industry. It also caused structural problems to the tourism-related sectors. The world is facing restrictions on the flow of people that have reduced commercial exchanges.

 

Under the new management vision, "Pioneering ways to bring people, places and possibilities together in a New Era", JTB will work with Fun Japan Communications, which promotes exchange with Asia and other countries within the group. With FIXER, who has advanced technology and expertise in the digital domain, including cloud computing and XR, we create a new style of interaction to develop Japan's tourism industry.

Under its corporate slogan "Technology to FIX your challenges," FIXER has decided to participate in this project because it identifies with JTB's goals.

 

  • Purpose

The "Virtual Japan Platform" will create an unprecedented exchange and economic zone in a virtual space where worldwide consumers, local governments and businesses from all over Japan will gather.

Starting with the recovery of consumption by foreign tourists through e-commerce, which has been halted due to the Corona pandemic, we hope to expand the services that you can enjoy in Japan and serve as a bridge between Japan and the world. This will contribute to the revitalization of the tourism industry and the local economy.

In addition, this project will not be limited to the virtual space. The interactions and experiences on the platform will create a flow of people who will visit Japan's sightseeing spots in real life after COVID-19. Our goal is to create a hybrid of the virtual and real-world, where people can continue to interact with the people they met in the virtual space after their trip.

 

  • Business Concept

The three companies will collaborate to build a "Virtual Japan Platform" on FIXER's cloud infrastructure, where consumers, local governments, and businesses in Japan and abroad can enter. The scale of the virtual exchange population is expected to exceed the government's target of 60 million foreign visitors to Japan by 2030. As a first step, this project aims to create an active exchange population of 10 million by 2024.

First of all, we will introduce a function that allows users to communicate with each other by controlling their avatar in the virtual space, and enabling users to learn more about the history and culture of various parts of Japan. By experiencing something similar to reality, we want to enable interaction within the space.

 

We have already created virtual spaces for the Marunouchi area of Tokyo and Hokkaido. We start the user registration while expanding the locations and functions on a weekly basis.

 

 

  • Comments from each company

 

JTB Corp. / President and CEO / Eijiro Yamakita

While the corona pandemic has highly restricted fundamental interactions, the business introduced here is a new system of exchange that truly transcends the boundaries between the real and the virtual world by fully utilizing the strengths of each of the three companies. Please take a glimpse into the world of the virtual Japan platform created by a tourism network (JTB), a user community (Fun Japan Communications), and a cloud infrastructure (FIXER).

 

Fun Japan Communications Co,. Ltd./ President and CEO / Daisuke Fujii

Our company owns a community of 1.25 million Japan-loving members, mainly in Asia. Our mission is to build relationships with Japanese regions and companies, and become a bridge between Japan and other countries. With this project, we are confident that we can create a new kind of exchange that combines the virtual and the real, and creates a new trend in Japan and the world based on people-to-people connections. Let's work together to revitalize Japan's tourism and regional economy.

 

FIXER Inc. / President and CEO / Seiichi Matsuoka

Since its founding, FIXER has provided many services through the cloud, and last year we launched our virtual event service. We believe that many people are now taking on the challenge of DX (Digital Experience). By realizing DX’s in the tourism and service industries through a strong alliance with the JTB Group, we aim to develop the Japanese economy further and provide a place where everyone who interacts on this platform can be engaged. Please look forward to the future collaboration between JTB Group's exciting and inspiring solutions and FIXER's cloud and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies.

 

Under the brand slogan, "Perfect moments, always”, JTB's business domain is to create interactions that bring smiles and excitement to our customers faces. We work on solving regional and social issues while leveraging our expertise in hospitality, which we have cultivated over our 109-year history. We aim to pioneer new ways to connect people, smiles and possibilities across the globe, by remaining aligned with evolving market needs and values and combining digital prowess with the warmth of human touch.

We operate "FUN! JAPAN" (Japan-loving community), the No.1 Japan introduction media in Asia, mainly in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India. With more than 4.5 million SNS followers and 1.25 million website members, our dedicated native staff from seven Asian countries are well versed in Japan and provide marketing support from a local perspective. 

As a member of the JTB Group, our vision is to be the point of contact between Japanese companies and local governments and Asian consumers, and contribute to the expansion of exchanges between Japan and Asia.

 

Founded in 2009, our corporate philosophy is "Technology to FIX your challenges." We aim to contribute to society by working together with our customers - companies, local governments, and employees - to help overcome their challenges with technology, focusing on cloud and AI. In 2017, we won the "Microsoft Country Partner of the Year" award, given to the best business partner in each country. In 2019, our core business, "cloud. config", a fully managed public cloud service, was awarded "Azure Expert MSP", a higher level certification in Microsoft Azure*.

*Microsoft and Azure are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

For inquiries from local governments and companies
Virtual Japan Platform Office, Fun Japan Communications
TEL: 03-6402-5521 (9:30 - 18:00, closed weekends and holidays)

For inquiries from the media
JTB Corp. Public Relations Office TEL: 03-5796-5833
FIXER Public Relations E-mail: prd@fixer.co.jp TEL: 03-3455-7755
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