I strongly do agree with Mr. Bruce Bateman’s statement relating to the current Japan market in the CNMI. It is indeed very unfortunate of the current state of Japan market and I certainly do hope for a swift recovery of the market. As Mr. Bateman mentioned, “Lack of sufficient, affordable and conveniently scheduled air seats” may be a factor why the market is in its current state but enhancing the destination could also contribute to bringing in more tourists and repeaters.” In 1997, the CNMI had its peak arrival from Japan at 450,000 but the numbers continued to dwindle, resulting in only 39,000 arrivals from Japan in 2018. This effect is not only seen in the CNMI but also in Hawaii and Guam. But in Hawaii, the number of arrival is seen to gradually increase recently with promoting destination aside from Oahu, enhancing and providing new experience to traveler and repeaters from Japan.
It is part of my mission to share and introduce the culture and beauty of Japan here in the CNMI but during my term I would also like to cooperate with the local government officials and business community to assist with restoring the Japan market in the CNMI.
I believe that having a strong bond and good relationship between Japan and the CNMI is highly important. Understanding each other’s culture, beauty of the destination, sports relation, economics and interaction of people to people could lead to more interest from travelers. For example, having sister-city between Japan and the CNMI gives a great opportunity for this and to learn about the local delicacy. Or the upcoming Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Game will be held in Japan, where many nationalities will gather, giving opportunity for traveler from the CNMI to interact with people from different countries. When the traveler returns to their country, and spread the words on how amazing the culture, beauty of nature and interaction with the local people were, that could lead to their peers also visiting the country.
Lastly, I sincerely respect the many local government officials and business community working day by day to restore the Japan market and I do wish that during my term, I could be part of this community to make CNMI a desirable and unforgettable destination again for the travelers from Japan.
Head of Office
Consular Office of Japan