Japan Welcoming Back Biz Traffic

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Normally business-friendly Japan is revamping its rules for business aircraft after realizing the strangely stringent regulations were detouring the world's business elite. The Daily Yomiuri reports that business aircraft traffic at Japan's largest airports, Narita and Haneda, has dropped drastically in recent years and totals just 3,000 operations a year. By contrast, New York airports saw 255,000 business aircraft movements last year. The newspaper quotes unnamed government sources as blaming a lack of facilities for business aircraft and some inconvenient regulations for the almost nonexistent traffic.

For instance, private operators have to book seven days in advance for a landing slot at Haneda and maximum length of stay is five days. At Narita, the parking limit is seven days. The government also intends to smooth customs and immigration processing, which now takes about 20 minutes. It hopes that by relaxing the rules, Japan will start attracting more business conferences and draw more companies looking to expand operations in Asia. It's also hoping the new rules will make it more attractive for well-heeled medical tourists to get procedures done in Japan.