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Phuket and Japan’s Hyoko to be “sistered” soon



Phuket and Japan’s Hyoko to be “sistered” soon | Thaiger

PHUKET: Plans are afoot to add the Japanese prefecture of Hyogo to Phuket’s growing list of sister cities.

On May 21, Phuket Japanese Association President Kazushi Miyashita met with Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit and Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Southern Region 4 office to discuss the idea.

Mr Miyashita told reporters he has already met the Vice Governor of Hyogo and the Director of the Japanese Foreign Affairs Department about the project to twin Phuket Province with Hyogo, whose capital city Kobe is home to some 5.5 million people. Hyogo is also home to Kansai International Airport.

Conditions of the planned relationship would include cooperation in such areas as prevention and mitigation of natural and man-made disasters, energy conservation, environmental protection – and of course tourism promotion.

Gov Niran said the best time to ink a Memorandum of Understanding linking the two locations would be on the on September 26 this year, which will mark the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Japan. It has still not been decided if the signing ceremony would be held in Phuket or Hyogo.

Gov Niran said that a sister city relationship could boost Japanese tourism to Phuket, which has not yet reached pre-tsunami levels. Last year some 70,000 Japanese tourists Phuket, he said.

K. Suwalai of the TAT said she expects a surge in tourism after the deal is inked as it will help restore Japanese confidence in Phuket as a tourist destination.

Phuket already has an impressive number of sister cities around the world: Nice, France; Port Blair, India; Hainan, China; and most recently Nakhodka, Russia.

Phuket Town is also sister city with Las Vegas, Nevada.


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