Mount Fuji, All Japan news’s highest and much-climbed mountain, is close to getting UNESCO World Heritage status, and the tourists’ number could thus grow vertiginously. Some say the mountain’s environment is already endangered, so specialists came to the conclusion that, in order to keep the number of climbers from rising, a fee for climbing would help.
The results of a preliminary study on the issue conducted by Kyoto University’s Professor Koichi Kuriyama (Environmental Economics) were released on June 4. Professor Kuriyama came to the conclusion that to keep the number of climbers at current levels, “a Y7,000 (around $70) fee per person is necessary”.
To estimate how the number of visitors would decrease if a fee to climb the mountain was to be introduced, the study used statistical analysis to quantify the relationship between the number of climbers and the time and cost of travel, according to the international press.
According to the study, a fee of Y500 ($5) should decrease the number of climbers by 2 percent, a fee of Y1,000 ($10) by 5 percent, and a fee of Y7,000 ($70) would keep the number of climbers identical to the one reported last year, which is 318,000 climbers.
A small entry fee would help preserving the environment and preventing accidents, according to Kuriyama.