Japanese prefecture delegation visits Taichung in bid to boost ties
Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) A Japanese delegation led by the speaker of Tottori Prefecture Assembly visited Taichung Tuesday, where it was greeted by city councilors and local officials.
Yoshikazu Fujinawa, accompanied by several Tottori tourism officials, met Taichung City Council speaker Chang Cing-chao (張清照) and deputy speaker Yen Li-min (顏莉敏) at city hall, where they agreed to boost bilateral cooperation and friendship.
During the meeting, Chang praised the close relationship between Taichung and Tottori, a Japanese prefecture located in the westernmost Chugoku region of Honshu.
Over the years there have been frequent friendly interactions between the two sides in the areas of agriculture, tourism, culture and education, he said.
In 2017 and 2018 the two sides signed agreements to boost tourism and friendship, with direct flights between Taichung and Tottori set to begin in September, Chang said.
The new air route is expected to help promote tourism and increase civil interactions between the two sides, he added.
Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based China Airlines, announced last month that it will launch a new route between Taichung and Tottori, which will begin services on Sept. 4.
The airline said it will initially fly two round-trip charter flights a week between the two destinations, using an E190 aircraft that can carry 104 passengers.
Tottori Prefecture has built a strong bond with Taichung since the latter imported pear trees buds from Tottori 25 years ago, Fujinawa said.
With the upcoming launch of the new air route, civil interactions between the two sides are expected to become more frequent and local tourism is expected to benefit, he added.
To further boost bilateral exchange, Fujinawa said he will visit Taichung again in February next year to attend the annual Lantern Festival in the central Taiwan city. He also invited Chang to attend a round-the-prefecture cycling event in Tottori in October.
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