Bid for ACL 2003


1. Invitation to Sapporo


First of all, we would like to extend our gratitude to you for considering Sapporo as a candidate for the venue of ACL 2003.
In Japan, Computational Linguistics is popular, and there are many researchers on Natural Language Processing which is machine translation, spoken language processing and so on. Therefore we can organize a local committee of ACL 2003. And infrastructure of information technology comes into wide. Sapporo's well-developed transportation system allows for easy access to and mobility within the city, and a variety of accommodation facilities and advanced convention facilities provide a perfect setting for various international events. Success of such events is ensured by the cooperation of local governments and volunteer support. Therefore we can give you comfortable circumstance for ACL 2003.
We are looking forward to welcoming you in Sapporo.

June 2001

ACL-2003 Japan National Committee

2. Concept of the Conference 

The ACL Japan National Committee hereby applies for the organization of the ACL 2003 at the City of Sapporo in Japan and submits the following:


(1) Venue

This candidate host city, Sapporo, is the capital of Hokkaido, which has been developed on a full scale as a new frontier of Japan since the late 17th century. Sapporo developed rapidly, becoming the largest city in the Pacific Rim northern regions, and the fifth most populous city in Japan. With more than 10 universities, including Hokkaido University whose forerunner was the first agricultural college in Japan, Sapporo is also an academic city.  The city is blessed with natural abundance, surrounded by mountains and filled with greenery.  


(2) Conference Location

Sapporo Convention Center (tentative name), a full-scale public facility exclusively for conferences, will be open in summer 2003.  The two-story building, which boasts a large scale of approximately 20,000 m2 space, is a general convention center which allows the holding of meetings and exhibitions concurrently.  It is designed to meet the needs in the 21st century, with advanced information communication facilities suitable in the Internet age.

It is only a distance of three subway stations (approximately 2.5 km) from the convention center to the downtown of Sapporo, which has more than 170 hotels accommodating 35,000 people.  Adding them to the hotels in the Jozankei Hot Spring Resort located within the city, Sapporo can receive more than 40,000 visitors. The city features many other attractive facilities, including Sapporo Concert Hall gKitara,h which Sapporo is proud to showcase to the world as an excellent facility for music, and Sapporo Dome, a venue for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.


(3) Conference Date

We would like to suggest holding the ACL 2003 from July 7th to July@12th, 2003 when the weather is perfect.  


 (4) Capacity to Organize the Congress

The members of the Organizing Committee and the Host Committee are listed below. 

Local Organizing Committee

General Conference Chair:            Junichi Tsujii (University of Tokyo)

Local Organization Chair :            Kenji Araki (Hokkaido University)

Local Arrangement Committee:     Jun-ichi Abe (Hokkaido University)

Koiti Hashida (Cyber Assist Research Center)

Masaaki Nagata (NTT Cyber Space Laboratories)

Hitoshi Iida (Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.)

Shuichi Itahashi (University of Tsukuba)

Hitoshi Isahara (Communications Research Laboratory)

Makoto Hiroshige (Hokkaido University)

Genichiro Kikui (ATR-SLT)

Sadao Kurohashi (University of Tokyo)

Yuji Matsumoto (Nara Institute of Science and Technology)

Yoshio Momouchi (Hokkai-Gakuen University)

Hiroshi Nakagawa (University of Tokyo)

Satoshi Sato (Kyoto University)

Koichi Sayama (Otaru University of Commerce)

Akira Shimazu (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

Koji Tochinai (Hokkaido University)

Takenobu Tokunaga (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Kenji Yoshimura (Fukuoka University)

 *It is possible to add several members to the local arrangement committee.

 *We will determine the assignment of work for the members of the local arrangement committee for a future occasion.

 *Support systems for them are organized by leading organizations in Japan. We are planning to acquire the registration handling services of EC CO., LTD, an experienced PCO belonging to the Japan Association of Professional Congress Organizers. 


(5) Local Support

For subsidies, we definitely expect to receive 1.5 million yen from the City of Sapporo and 200 thousand yen from the Hokkaido Government.


(6) Potential Major Sponsors

The following main sponsors as well as many other sponsors will support the Conference.


Hokkaido Governments

City of Sapporo





Other domestic companies (10 companies)

Foreign companies (5 companies)


(7) Budget Estimates


(7-1) 500 attendees


Registration Fee

18,000,000 yen

Regular @40,000~400=16,000,000


Student @20,000~100=  2,000,000


Subsidy from the City of Sapporo

1,500,000 yen

Subsidy from the Hokkaido Government

200,000 yen

Sponsorship income


3,000,000 yen


22,700,000 yen



Costs of hiring conference venue (including fixed equipment)

2,000,000 yen

Costs of PCO contracts or costs required for pre-/on-site registration

500,000 yen

Printing (Including Proceedings, Circulars, etc.)

1,500,000 yen

Hire of audio visual equipment and technicians

(Including PC, projectors, telephone and fax rental costs)

3,000,000 yen

Hire of poster panels

(Including signs, booths, lighting equipment, etc.)

2,500,000 yen

Costs for invited speakers

@500, 000~3

1,500,000 yen

Estimated Local Committee expenses

(Including costs for expendable supplies, conventions bags, bookbinding, communications, labors, transportation, etc.)

2,800,000 yen

Meeting of Program Committee

600,000 yen

Signs, banners, etc.

300,000 yen

Refreshments (coffee, tea, juice, cakes, etc.)                           

1,000,000 yen

Welcome Reception costs

2,000,000 yen

Banquet costs (@10,000~500)


5,000,000 yen


22,700,000 yen


 (7-2) 400 attendees


Registration Fee

14,400,000 yen

Regular @40,000~320=12,800,000


Student @20,000~ 80=   1,600,000


Subsidy from the City of Sapporo

1,500,000 yen

Subsidy from the Hokkaido Government

200,000 yen

Sponsorship income


3,000,000 yen


19,100,000 yen



Costs of hiring conference venue (including fixed equipment)

2,000,000 yen

Costs of PCO contracts or costs required for pre-/on-site registration

425,000 yen

Printing (Including Proceedings, Circulars, etc.)

1,200,000 yen

Hire of audio visual equipment and technicians

(Including PC, projectors, telephone and fax rental costs)

3,000,000 yen

Hire of poster panels (Including signs, booths, lighting equipment, etc.)

2,000,000 yen

Costs for invited speakers (@500, 000~3)

1,500,000 yen

Estimated Local Committee expenses

(Including costs for expendable supplies, conventions bags, bookbinding, communications, labors, transportation, etc.)

1,720,000 yen

Meeting of Program Committee

480,000 yen

Signs, banners, etc.

300,000 yen

Refreshments (coffee, tea, juice, cakes, etc.)                             

800,000 yen

Welcome Reception costs

1,600,000 yen

Banquet costs (@10,000~400)


4,000,000 yen


19,175,000 yen


3.    Profile of Sapporo

(1) Climate

Sapporo witnesses the colorful changes of four distinctive seasons. Weather in early July in Sapporo, unlike the sweltering heat in Honshu, is extremely comfortable, with the maximum temperature of 23.2, the minimum temperature of 14.7 , and clear, blue skies.  This season is popular among tourists from inside and outside Japan who come to enjoy the natural magnificence of Hokkaido.

(2) Environment

Extraordinary harmony between nature and an urban setting.  There are many characteristic parks in the city to provide you with greenery and places for recreation and comfort.  Just outside of the urbanized area, you will find natural forest areas where you can enjoy various outdoor activities, such as hiking in summer and skiing in winter.

(3) Culture

Sapporo is the cultural center of Hokkaido.  There are a number of major museums and concert halls of Hokkaido in the city.  Sapporo Art Park is an outdoor sculpture museum built amidst a natural forest.  Sapporofs Concert Hall gKitarah, newly opened in 1997, boasts excellent acoustics, and is one of the best halls in Japan. Hospitality

In Sapporo, where more than 110 international conferences are held every year, you can expect generous hospitality from citizens.  Programs to provide voluntary interpreters and host families are available according to your needs, allowing people from other countries to stay in Sapporo without anxiety and to fully enjoy Japanese culture.  Moreover, information signs in the city, which is laid out in a grid pattern, are written in both Japanese and English, making it easier even for foreign visitors to walk around.  Traveling by subway is also very convenient.

(4) Delicacies

Visitors to Sapporo must not return home without tasting the delicacies the northern land and sea provide.  Hokkaidofs abundance of vegetables, meat, dairy products, and seafood, especially crab, attract many visitors, and Sapporofs numerous international and Japanese restaurants prepare them in a variety of appetizing dishes.  Sapporo is also famous for Sapporo Beer.  At Sapporo Beer Garden, you can enjoy tasty Sapporo Beer and a Hokkaido-style barbecue of fresh meat and vegetables.

(5) Security

Sapporo is given highest credit in its security.   It is safe even for a woman to walk by herself at night in Susukino, the amusement center of Sapporo.


4. Access

New Chitose Airport is linked with 38 airports in Japan, having the single route (to and from) Haneda Airport with the largest number of passengers in the world.  In addition to direct flights abroad to Seoul, Guam, Honolulu, Shenyang and Taipei, it provides 11-hour direct flights to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, one of the most important hub airports in Europe.  New Chitose Airport is closest to Europe of all the airports in Japan. It takes approximately 50 minutes to get to the Conference venue from New Chitose Airport: approx. 36 min. to Sapporo JR Station by train from which you can enjoy landscapes through the windows that reminds you of Europe, and approx. 14-min. by subway or 5 min. by taxi from Sapporo JR Station to the venue.


5. Sapporo Convention Center  (tentative name)

We would like to propose that ACL 2003 be held in the Sapporo Convention Center (tentative name), which is scheduled to completed in December 2002 and officially open on June 1, 2003. So this conference will be the formal opening of this new convention center. This convention center will be completed in December 2002. So actually we have six months before the conference. But I have also reserved conference rooms of Hokkaido University as a fallback. Sapporo is now preparing for the establishment of the Center as a state-of-the-art facility exclusively for conventions, utilizing the expertise and experience acquired through holding international conferences/conventions.  This public facility will be provided at reasonable prices.

(1) Outline of the Sapporo Convention Center (tentative name)

The center houses a main hall accommodating 2,500 people (3,000 m2; it can be divided into three), 17 conference rooms accommodating 30 to 400 people, a reception hall, a restaurant, Japanese-style rooms and a business center.  It has been designed to fully accommodate large-scale international academic conferences

(2) Plans to Use Facilities

a. Schedule: July 7-12, 2003 (six-day duration; registration on the day before the conference)

b. Number of participants expected: approx. 500

c. Plenary sessions: 350 participants x 2 rooms x 3 days

d. Workshops: 30 to 50 participants x 11 rooms x 2 days

e. Tutorial: 50 to 200 participants x 3 room x 1 day

f. Demonstration + posters + exhibition: 500 participants in the Conference Hall          x 6 days

g. Reception: welcome party (cocktail party): 500 participants x 1 room x 1 day

h. Lunch: 1 room for lunch x 6 days

i. Anterooms for organizers: 2 rooms x 6 days

Recommended plan

a. Plenary sessions (2 large conference rooms accommodating 350 people each): 2 large conference rooms (capacity: 700; movable seats) x 3 days

b. Workshops (11 rooms accommodating 30 to 50 people each): 1 large conference room (capacity: 200) x 2 days, 4 medium-sized conference rooms (capacity: 100 each) x 2 days; 6 small conference rooms (capacity: 50 each) x 2 days

c. Tutorial: 1 large conference room (capacity: 200) x 1 day, 2 medium-sized conference rooms (capacity: 100 each) x 1 day

d. Demonstration + posters + exhibition: the Conference Hall  x 6 days

e. Anterooms for organizers: 2 anterooms for organizers x 6 days

f. Reception (welcome party (cocktail party)): 1 reception hall x 1 day

                     (banquet): 1 reception hall x 1 day

g. Lunch: 1 reception hall x 6 days

* Welcome party (cocktail party) can be held in the entrance foyer or terrace. 

*Audio/visual equipment (the Internet, projectors and OHP) is also available.

(3) Estimate of Costs for Renting the Center

This estimate is for center use under conditions mentioned in (2). 

Costs for renting the center (including costs for renting equipment): 2 million yen (conference hall/rooms, rooms for posters, reception hall, anterooms for organizers)


This estimate is based on a basic plan for renting facilities, not including other expenses for drinks, coffee breaks, transportation, etc.  If a plan requires special details, extra costs may be entailed.


The center also houses a business center, a counter for volunteers to provide information and shops which are established permanently. It also houses Japanese-style rooms which can be used as rooms for a tea ceremony or other activities to provide opportunities to experience traditional Japanese culture.


6. Accommodations  

Hotels and other accommodations in Sapporo are concentrated within a one-kilometer radius of Odori Park.  Number of hotels is 128, with 18,732 rooms accommodating 30,803.  Adding Japanese-style hotels and inns, the city has a capacity of 34,286.

These accommodations have good access to Sapporo JR Station as well as subways running north-south and east-west.  Major hotels are concentrated within a 10-minute radius by subway of the Sapporo Convention Center, a candidate venue for the Conference


7. Party Plans

We suggest holding a cocktail party at the convention hall of the Convention Center as a welcome party.  Using both indoor and outdoor facilities together, a party with a special atmosphere can be produced.  For party attractions, we suggest Japanese mochi-tsuki (rice pounding) with hayashi (musical accompaniment), karate demonstrations and Yosakoi-Soran dance, which are popular among people from other countries and are favorably received in international conferences.

Hokkaido serves special local delicacies - Genghis Khan (Mongolian mutton barbecues), ramen, corn sold at stalls in Odori Park, beer directly sent from the brewery and fresh ice cream.  Particularly in Sapporo Beer Garden, a large hall built of red bricks conveying the era of pioneer days, you can enjoy beer fresh from the brewery and Genghis Khan in a free and relaxed atmosphere. 

The area around Odori Park, where hotels are concentrated, is also crowded with many restaurants.  They serve dishes making use of ingredients produced in Hokkaido and cuisine from various parts of the world. 

Moreover, Susukino, famous as one of the largest entertainment districts in Japan, is crowded with approximately 5,000 pub restaurants, small restaurants, pubs and bars.  It is also the site of Ramen Yokocho Alley, a feature of Sapporo.  The streets are never deserted, even in the middle of the night.  The city can be said to be the safest in the world where women without escorts can walk without anxiety.


8. Excursions, Programs for Spouses, After Convention

We are ready to provide many kinds of excursions and programs for spouses during the Conference, including gexperience-typeh programs, which have received favorable reviews recently, and ones offering opportunities to be exposed to Japanese culture. 

Having no rainy season, June is the most beautiful time in Sapporo, when bright-colored flowers are in full bloom all together.  Local events during this season include the Yosakoi-Soran Festival, in which approximately 40,000 people dance enthusiastically all over the city, and Hokkaido Shrine Festival.  You can experience these vigorous events and Japanese culture between meetings. 


(1) Examples of gexperience-typeh programs

City Course A

Venue Okurayama Jump Hill (lifts) Hokkaido Shrine (performance of Japanese ancient court music, oracles written in English) Sapporo Art Park (experience in cloisonné ware, ceramic art or frosted grass art) Hotels

City Course B

A place in the city a Zen temple, experience dressing in a kimono, a tea ceremony) Mt. Moiwa Observatory the Historical Museum of Hokkaido (material on the Ainu) Hotels


(2) Examples of excursions

Otaru Course for learning about its history and enjoy the romantic atmosphere

A place in the city Kitaichi Glassworks Company Mycal Otaru (the largest commercial facility in Japan; opened in March 1999) Experience in frosted glass art Old Aoyama Villa (Herring Villa; owned by a boss in herring fishery who made huge profits) Hotels

Course for investigating natural spots, including volcanoes

A place in the city The Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Noboribetsu Hot Spring Resort (a visit to Jigokudani - Hell's Valley), taking a bath, having a simple meal served before ceremonial tea) Lake Toya (visits to Mt. Showa Shinzan and Mt. Usu) Hotels

*Mt. Showa Shinzan is a volcano which rose out of a flat wheat field all of a sudden.  This is a rare phenomenon in the world. 


Moreover, in the suburbs of Sapporo, there are many tourist spots suitable to visit after conventions.  It takes three hours or less from Sapporo to get to Japan's leading spa resorts, golf courses and places for riding horses in the midst of natural magnificence.  We can guarantee that these places will satisfy everyone.


City Tour

After your conference, Sapporo stands ready to entertain with a variety of enjoyable locales and diversions. There are a variety of museums and beautiful parks, and theme parks to show you and have you experience the culture and history of Sapporo.  A short trip to a mountaintop may give you a wide and breathtaking view of the city. 


Spa resorts

Conventioneers interested in the traditional relaxation of an authentic Japanese hot spring can linger at a spa within the city, or drive to one of the many resorts that are less than an hour away.  The Jozankei and Noboribetsu areas are Japanfs leading spa resorts.  Hot springs are an excellent way to relax and are the perfect remedy for travel fatigue.  You can also enjoy huge-scale wave pools, machine gyms, and jacuzzis for improving your health. Well-developed transportation systems allow for extensive touring to the surrounding areas of Sapporo.  Within easy reach from Sapporo, there are various sports and hot spring resorts, as well as natural and cultural theme parks characteristic to Hokkaido.


9. Support Offered by the Sapporo Convention Bureau


(1) Subsidies/grants

The Sapporo Municipal Government and the Hokkaido Government support holding of international conventions by providing subsidies and grants, according to applications filed by convention organizers.  The Sapporo Convention Bureau serves as a coordinator between governments and organizers. 


(2) Lending funds for holding a convention

No-interest loans are available for convention organizers with a maximum of 3 million yen and a repayment term of two years or less. The Convention Bureau are also ready to help organizers prepare a financial plan during the preparation period. 


(3) Supporting candidacy for the host of a convention

We support candidates to host a convention by preparing bid documents, preparing programs to invite overseas key persons and accepting organizers who will visit venue(s) for advance inspection. 


(4) Support during the convention

We provide total support by securing and organizing venue(s), arranging for equipment and printing, introducing companies offering registration services - which are essential to a convention -  and publicizing the event to the media. 

Other supporting services include meeting service at the airport, arrangements for transportation between the airport and hotels and between hotels and the venue, introduction of PCOs and travel agencies and arrangements for cars for VIPs. 


(5) Setting up Information Desks

We set up information desks at the venue, where full-time members of our bureau's information corner and voluntary interpreters provide information on sightseeing in Sapporo and its suburbs and advice on problems concerning the stay in the city.  Tourist pamphlets written in English, German, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Spanish area also available.  By request, volunteer groups can meet your needs, including the translation and preparation of maps, among other documents.


(6) Cooperation of volunteers

We actively send volunteers to conventions. 

     At present, 1,516 voluntary interpreters from 24 countries are registered at Sapporo International Communication Plaza Foundation.  Six hundred of them in total are sent to more than 110 international convention projects annually, contributing to the success of the conventions.

     For international conventions, volunteers are available for meeting service at the airport, assistance of registration, assistance of interpretation for excursion guidance and receptions, and companion service for participants of Japanese culture experience programs and those who go shopping. 

     Japanese culture experience programs include dressing in a kimono, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy and origami (folding paper into figures).  These programs are available for small groups and very popular among participants.

     Through thorough discussions with organizers, we can help them to formulate a plan to provide a special service, such as tea served by volunteers in kimonos at the venue. 


Home stay / home visit

The home stay system in Sapporo, which started in 1968 and is oldest in the country, has received 3,787 people from 107 countries and five regions over the past 30 years.  At present, 248 households are registered as host families, accepting visitors from other countries, such as participants of international conventions, and providing them with opportunities to experience Japanese lifestyle and culture. 

     Short-term home visits are also available according to your wishes. 


(7) Planning and implementing a citizens' seminar

When organizers hold a citizens' seminar, a highly evaluated open lecture from the convention, we help them by planning a seminar, providing a venue, publicizing the event, inviting participants, and accepting applications for participation.



10. Previous experience of large complex conferences


Sapporo has hosted many large complex conferences, including the Winter Olympic Games in 1972.  Recent examples are listed below. 


July 17-22, 1994

The 7th World Fed. Ultrasound Medicine Biology Cong.

44 countries; 1130 (overseas: 387)


July 6-8, 1995

Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials Meeting

18 countries / area; 800


July 5-7, 1995

8th Cong. of the Intfl Cardiac Doppler Society

30 countries; 600  (overseas: 100)


Sept. 10-13, 1996

9th World Holstein Friesian Conf.

34 countries & 2 areas; 800 (overseas: 275)


July 22-25, 1997

United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Sapporo

28 countries; 120 (overseas: 50)


Aug. 2-8, 1998

The 3rd World Congress of Biomechanics

31 countries & 1 area; 1000 (overseas: 500)


Sept 4-5, 1999

Environment Congress for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA f99)

20 countries; 80


Sept. 20-24, 1999

11th Intfl Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference

30 countries; 550 (overseas: 150)


Oct. 5-8, 1999

UN-Sponsored Expert Group Meeting on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia

3 countries & 3 organizations; 17 (overseas: 17)


Oct. 25-28, 1999

12th Intfl Conference on the Computation of Electromagnetic Fields

40 countries; 400


January 24-28, 2000

APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRD-WG)

21 countries; 210

July 3-8, 2000

Quadrennial Ozone Symposium - Sapporo 2000 -

20 countries & areas; 400 (overseas: 300)


October 2-6, 2000

The First S-RAMP Conference

40 countries; 581


November 6-11, 2000

The 55th JCI World Congress Sapporo 2000

102 areas; 8000 (overseas: 1500)


September 2001

7th Intfl Conference on Paleoceanography

500 (overseas: 350)  *expected


February 2002

11th Intfl Winter Road Congress

3,000 *expected


July 22-26, 2002

The 29th Intfl Symposium on Combustion

30 countries; 1000 (overseas: 700)  *expected


July 29 – August 3, 2002

Intfl Union for the Study of Social Insects

600 (overseas: 400)  *expected


May 31-June 30, 2002

2002 FIFA World Cup Korea / Japan


October 2002

6th DPI (Disabled Peoplesf International) World Assembly

2000  *expected


June 30 – July 11, 2003

IUGG (Intfl Union of Geodesy and Geophysics)

6000 (overseas: 4000) *expected