PETALING JAYA, Nov 22 — AEON Co (M) Bhd expects to see a boost in Malaysia’s close relationship with Japan by organising a fair to introduce Japanese culture and food heritage to Malaysians, said Chief Executive Officer for Asean Business, Nagahisa Oyama.
He said with the change in the Japanese taxation system particularly those involving duty free starting from October 1 this year, in addition to a more relaxing Visa criteria for Malaysian nationals to enter Japan, more Malaysians were expected to travel to that country.
Speaking at the launch of the fair themed ‘Cool and Tasty Japan’, he said the 10-day fair beginning today had lined up a myriad of events to entice visitors to all things Japan.
“Cool refers to the Japanese love for anime and all things related to it, with big names like Bushiroad, Ban Dai, Namco, Daisuki and Good Smile Company, while ‘tasty’ caters for fans of Japanese cuisine with offerings from the Kansai, Iwate, Okinawa, Hiroshima and Niigata regions,” said Oyama.
He said the company was active in forging partnerships with Japanese local governments, whereby it had comprehensive agreements in various aspects with about 44 out of the 47 prefectures.
“We collaborated with communities to invigorate the local economy and promote tourism and help market the local produce by expanding their distribution channels,” he added.
Also present at the event was Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Toshizou Ido; Governor of Kyoto Prefecture, Keiji Yamada and President and Chief Executive Officer of New Kansai International Airport Company Ltd, Shinichi Fukishima.
In his speech, Ido said the Kansai region, which lies in the southern-central of Honshu island including Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Shiga prefectures, is now becoming more hospitable to Muslim tourists.
There are an increasing number of hotels and railway companies in the Kansai region offering appropriately prepared meals which are certified halal by a screening organisation in Japan, facilities for prayers and language services.
He said with AEON taking the initiative to organise the Japanese fair, it was hoped that more Muslim tourists from Malaysia would be attracted to go to Japan.