Jakarta — Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Japan can be a role model for Indonesia to boost its tourism industry, citing the East Asian giant’s success in turning itself into one of the world’s premier tourist destination in the last decade or so. “Japan has almost doubled the number of tourists coming into the country from 2013 to 2017 – from 10 million to almost 20 million,” Arief said in Jakarta. According to him, Japan managed the scarcely believable growth by adopting three main strategies: visa deregulation for neighboring countries, currency depreciation to increase affordability of travel to the country and development of low-cost carrier (LCC) to boost the number of travelers to Tokyo and other major cities. Arief said Indonesia’s free visa policy for 169 countries and its relatively low cost of living and travel should make it easier for the country to follow Japan’s example. The minister pointed out that Japan has a Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism that takes care of all these related matters under one roof, simplifying often labyrinthine bureaucratic processes. “With just one ministry, decisions are made quickly with too much bureaucracy,” Arief said. He added that in Indonesia the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs can play the same role, integrating the works of Tourism, Environment and Forestry, Agriculture and affiliated ministries to help boost tourism. “Japan has a achieved a ten-year target in four years. President Jokowi wants 20 million overseas tourists in Indonesia by 2019. Using Japan’s example, I think we can meet the target,” he concluded.