| The Japan Travel Writers' Organization (JTWO, pronounced as J-two) was
organized in September 1973, as a friendship arena among travel writers,
travel-related authors, editors, photographers, broadcasters, translators,
academic researchers, travel agents and public relations persons in this
trade. The JTWO is a general incorporated association, and sticks to no
particular ideology or religious inclination.
The purpose of the organization is to exchange information among the members thus help promote the correct and useful and up-dated data to the tourism industry.
Our fundamental understanding rests on guaranteeing the free travel not to be bothered by any obstructive hindrances, respecting the maintanance of important cultural heritage and natural beauty. By pursuing these posture, we believe the better international understanding and friendship can be established.
Our activity includes the general meetings to be held every two months, various sub-group gatherings according to the members' interests: there are about 15 regional study groups such as the United States, Italy to name a few，as well as hobby groups such as Photography, Ships and Vessels, Jazz, etc..
As for the social activities, the JTWO is sponsoring the Travel Awards to the outstanding individuals who greatly contributed in this field. Also co-sponsored the last 25 years the Tour of the Year, which gives awards to the successful and unique group tour plans. Our members are taking part in various seminars and forums as panelists, chair persons and lecturers and so on.
Presently, about 200 persons are enrolled as individual members. In addition, several Foreign Tourist Offices in Tokyo and domestic local government tour-promotion offices joined us as supporting members. Old "emeritus" figures stay as honorary members. Foreign nationals are not excluded and in fact a few persons are among us. However, lack of proficiency in Japanese language is often an obstacle to stay long, with some rare exception.
The founder chairman of our organization was Dr. Shigeta Saito, renowned psychiatrist and expert on traveling who is particularly fond of aeroplanes, trains and ships. But sad to say, he died aged ninety on 20 Nov. 2006. We selected Ms. Kaoru Kanetaka as new chairman. She is one of the most famous travel journalist in Japan. Also a number of other notable personalities are found among the executives of the organization.
On May 2011, Ms. Kaoru Kanetaka resigned the chairman and took the honorary chairman and We selected Ms. Akiko Shimoju as new chairman.
Our Adress : Meikou Building 1-5-5 Ginza Chuou-ku Tokyo Japan (104-0061)
Phone 81-3-3538-2345 Fax 81-3-3538-2346
We acknowledge that we now plunge into the unprecedented prosperous era of global tourism. Tremendous number of tourists moving around the planet earth and this phenomenon reminds us that we are surely worthy of the name of homo mobilis. When we see the aspect closely, however, we realize the contemporary tendency is not always satisfactory: in some cases, travels are too much commercialized, contaminated by wicked and distorted informations. Thus, travel as culture is tend to be forgotten, and while the true nature of the travel which should be the passport for the benefit to the peace and mutual understanding, might sometimes generate the opposite effects. i.e., causing distrust or misunderstanding between ethnically different people which may eventually lead to distorted prejudice and abhorrence. Japan has experienced the long period of closing the door to the foreign nations and isolated herself. In recent years, we are assimilating into the international community, but the characteristics of our culture, tradition, customs and habits nurtured during those secluded years are still pose as obstacles to freely intermingle among global communities. We are the travel writers, truly convinced that travels are culture, ways to grasp the meaning of history, thus to contribute to the authentic international understanding and brisk cultural exchange with unbiased attitudes. While the number of tourists are expanding, the status of travel writers in this country is relatively minor and not quite influential. This intellectual group of ours is determined with fresh vigor, that we should establish the penmanship to convey the true nature of travel as culture, so that the travel writers' social status becomes solid as well. Through those constant undertakings, the general attitude and behavior of Japanese tourists might be up-graded, the image of Japan in international community will be enhanced. We seek the closer contacts with foreign counterpart both as an institution and individual, thus try to fulfil the wider international cultural activities.
September 13, 1973
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