The Japanese government plans to use cruise liners as hotels for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Late last month, the Japanese government held the first meeting of divisional heads from related agencies to examine problems that must be resolved to introduce hotel ships, the Jiji News Agency reported.
A team will set guidelines for cruise ship operators and tourist agencies this summer, hoping that this system will also be used for large-scale events in the future.
More than 8 mill Japanese and foreign people, including games-related officials, are due to visit Tokyo and nearby areas for the sports events.
Currently, under Japanese laws a cruise ship cannot moor for more than 15 days. The only exception was the ‘Queen Elizabeth 2’, which stayed for 65 days during the Exotic Showcase in Yokohama in 1989.
There are several issues for the Japanese to overcome, local media sources said. With ship crews becoming hotel staff, they would instantly fall outside maritime legislation. Moreover, Japanese laws do not regulate ships’ meals. A special Customs Law license would be necessary to obtain permission.
Japan News said that last year, 24 mill people visited Japan, which filled 80% of Tokyo hotels. Around 40 mill people are expected in the country in 2020, when the Olympics take place.
Ships could berth at Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki and Kisarazu if the ports meet certain requirements.