The Mayor of Matsuyama City in Japan pushed for a charter flight between his city and Taipei Saturday, hoping to increase bilateral exchanges and boost tourism.
Matsuyama Airport currently handles mostly domestic flights, but is undergoing expansion in a bid to win the confidence of Taiwanese officials, Matsuyama Mayor Katsuhito Noshi said.
“With the completion of the airport project by the end of next year, we hope to bring in more Taiwanese tourists to our historic city,” Noshi said. Earlier this week, he met with Yeh Kuang-shih, deputy minister of transportation and communications.
“Taiwanese are more familiar with Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, but our city has a lot to offer too, including renowned hot springs and relics from the Edo Period,” he added.
While visiting Taipei’s Songshan District, he said that the interaction between Songshan and Matsuyama has always been close because the two cities actually share the same name.
He cited the example of Tzu-yu Temple, a temple located in Songshan, that donated US$380,000 to Matsuyama after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan in March.
Songshan and Matsuyama are written using the same Chinese characters, but pronounced differently in Japanese and Mandarin.