International Plastic Fair organizers said Japan's visa policies are too restrictive for visitors and could hurt sales at the upcoming fair.
Exhibitors are complaining that they want more visitors from China, and IPF also is concerned about potential attendees from Russia, Vietnam and other countries, said Minoru Shibata, chief director of Japan's largest show, being held Nov. 7-11 in Tokyo.
Shibata spoke at a July 24 IPF news conference in Tokyo and in an interview outside the event.
Organizers of all of Japan's major trade shows are pushing the government to ease visa policies.
``Of course [the policies are] wrong it's not only us but all the major international trade show organizers who are trying to convince the government, but we are still small part of industry,'' he said. ``We have missed a lot of [business] opportunities.''
Shibata said the IPF show has found a travel agency willing to organize group IPF tours and issue the invitation letters that the Japanese government requires for Chinese visitors.
For now, Chinese visitors remain a relatively small part of the show, with only about 415 among the more than 65,000 registered attendees of the last show, in 2005. Only 17 companies from mainland China were among the more than 900 exhibitors at the 2005 show; they will probably number more than 30 this year, IPF estimated.
Shibata said there were problems with organizing group tours in 2005. One delegation of 60 Chinese visitors canceled their tour after half of the 60 people were unable to get visas from Japan.
For that particular tour group, the IPF show issued an invitation letter, but Shibata said in most cases, IPF will not issue an invitation for attendees unless it knows them well.
``Visitors, if we don't know them, some of them might want to get a visa and come to Japan and vanish somewhere,'' he said.
However, IPF will issue invitation letters to Chinese exhibitors, he said.
IPF organizers said they put together the news conference a first for them in an attempt to boost the show in a down economy and in the face of major challenges from growing Chinese shows, including the Chinaplas trade show. IPF is trying to position its event as a high-tech alternative to other expos, with Japanese firms unveiling their newest technology.