Asia

Manga, Mario and now ninja: Japan's hopes for wooing tourism

Japan is turning to those hooded samurai-era acrobatic spies known as ninja to woo tourism.

The Japan Ninja Council, a government-backed organization of scholars, tourism groups and businesses, said Wednesday that it's starting a Ninja Academy to train people in the art of ninja, and building a new museum in Tokyo devoted to ninja, set to open in 2018.

The council has created an official logo for certified products and movies to nurture what it called the "ninja business," and it hopes to educate "ninja ambassadors" to promote the culture globally.

Officials at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan showed a ninja-inspired martial-arts demonstration and a guidebook in English highlighting several ninja-related places in Japan, such as castles and a "ninja "village theme park.