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Envoy sees return of Japanese tourists to Cebu ‘soon’

COURTESY CALL. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko (right) poses for a photo with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia during their meeting on Friday (Oct. 8, 2021). The Japanese envoy, in a statement Monday (Oct. 11, 2021), was quoted as saying that more tourists from the “Land of the Rising Sun” are expected to make a comeback to Cebu once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. (Contributed photo)

CEBU CITY – Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko is anticipating the return of Japanese tourists to Cebu and vice versa once the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic is over.

The envoy expressed this optimism during his recent visit to Cebu.

In a statement released by the Cebu provincial government on Monday, Koshikawa also expressed his intention to bolster the bilateral relations between Cebu and Japan.

“You have a beautiful nature and the hospitality of Cebuano people and also security. It’s a safe city. After the pandemic is over, many Japanese will come back here,” the ambassador said.

During Koshikawa’s meeting with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Friday, the latter raised the possibility of creating a tourism bubble between Cebu and Japan once the pandemic situation normalizes to boost tourism exchange.

Aside from tourism, he said more Japanese students will also want to come back to Cebu to study English as a Second Language (ESL). Cebu, as an ESL hub in the country, has been attracting foreign students from Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and China.

Garcia invited the Japanese envoy to explore the island of Cebu to see its natural beauty.

Cebu has long been a favorite getaway destination among Japanese tourists.

Japan had been one of the top sources of tourists to Cebu pre-pandemic, together with Korea and Japan. (PNA)

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