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Japanese city of Biei relies on AI to regulate visitor flows


“This is not even what we wanted. After the ‘discovery’ (of our landscapes), visitors started to flock. The village’s capacity has been exceeded, which is causing nuisances,” sighs Hiroyuki Kakuwa, mayor of Biei, who is worried about the overcrowding of tourists. What attracts tourists are the bucolic landscapes, especially the patchwork of hills striped with colorful fields. The Aoi-Ike (“blue pond”), whose color creates a striking picture, and the “Christmas tree,” a single tree that stands in the middle of the farmland, are famous sites.

The number of visitors, which used to hover around 1 million per year, jumped by more than 30% in 2017 and passed the 2 million mark in 2018. In 2019, it exceeded 2.4 million.

With the rise of tourism, bad behavior and traffic jams are increasing, affecting the lives of locals. In the case of the “Christmas tree”, the mere fact that it is surrounded by wheat and potato fields with no possibility of parking is problematic. “By walking on these cultivated lands with their shoes, tourists introduce pathogenic bacteria and harmful insects, causing damage that can

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Source of the article

Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Tokyo)

The “Japan Economic Journal” is undoubtedly the most important economic daily in the world by its circulation. The quality of its articles is well worth that of the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times.

THE Nihon Keizai Shimbun is the founder of the Nikkei group – known for its stock market index – of which it is the main publication. Since its publication in 1876, the daily has specialized in the field of business. A century later, it has established itself as the newspaper of Japanese business executives. With its 1,300 journalists and 90 offices (including 32 overseas), it excels in analyzing not only economic life, but also political life. Its editorials do not hesitate to criticize the conservative government and business leaders when it judges that liberalism is under threat.

The Nikkei group is an old hand in online services. Long before the advent of the Internet era, it offered many services to anyone with a modem. Today, only editorials and a few factual articles are taken from the paper edition. The daily prefers to offer free content built around thematic files and studies carried out by the various branches of the group. An English version of the content is available, but access is paid.

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