Government-backed travel agencies in Japan and China are issuing fresh warnings to travellers against visiting India, after a Japanese researcher was abducted and raped by five men in Bodh Gaya last month.
Travel agencies in Japan and China - two of the biggest sources of tourists along what is known as the Buddhist pilgrimage route - have warned passengers against undertaking all non-essential travel to India, after news of the horrific rape and weeks-long abduction of a Japanese researcher triggered alarm and concern in both countries.
While the case has received relatively limited attention in India, it has been widely covered by media in Japan and China.
Reporting on the arrests of five men over the case, the Japan Times said the 22-year-old woman was a researcher who was studying in India and was interested in undertaking a pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya.
She was kept captive for as long as three weeks in a village near the holy town, before escaping on December 26 and travelling to Kolkata, where she contacted the Japanese Consulate, the newspaper reported.
Kunikatsu Hayami, the Executive Managing Director of the Overseas Tour Operators Association of Japan (OTOA), the country’s most influential travel body, told Mail Today the case had been “widely reported” in Japan and had generated “concern”.
In China, where there is also a huge interest in travel to Buddhism-related sites in India, agents at the official China Travel Service (CTS) have cautioned female travellers against visiting India.
“If you are female, even as a group, we advise you do not travel to India unless absolutely necessary,” an agent who gave his last name as Yang told Mail Today.
“Few travel agencies in China now offer travel packages to India because not so many people are willing to go there. Safety is a big concern, especially for women,” the agent said.
'If you are female... do not travel to India': Japan and China warn tourists to stay away after Bodh Gaya attack ANANTH KRISHNAN 9 January 2015