Kenyan government officials on Wednesday urged the Japanese government to revise its travel advisory on Kenya during a tourism forum held at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo.
“Given the prevailing peace and robust economic exuberance in Kenya, we have been challenging the Japanese government to revise the travel advisory on Kenya to ensure Japanese tourists are able to freely travel to Kenya with proper facilitation,” Kenyan Ambassador Solomon Maina said.
The advisory, dubbed Overseas Travel Safety Information, is issued by the Foreign Ministry and has four levels meant to reflect the potential safety risks and the amount of security for Japanese nationals.
According to the information, part of Nairobi is categorized as “Level 2: Avoid Non-essential Travel.”
The ambassador said the number of Japanese tourists dropped following a terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013. However, he said Kenya was able to bring the situation effectively under control “through international effort and collaboration with countries such as Japan.”
Nairobi hosted the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD VI, in late August. According to the ambassador, during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta “appealed to Japan to [recognize] the improved security environment and requested Japan revise its travel advisory.”
During the Wednesday forum, Wausi Walya, PR & Corporate Communications Manager of the Kenya Tourism Board, said Japan sends Asia’s third largest number of tourists to Kenya, after India and China. In recent months, she said the number of Japanese tourists has been on the rise.
“That gives us a lot of optimism,” Walya said. “Japanese are really interested in traveling to our country.”