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Okinawa’s governor calms ruffled Chinese feathers

Date Posted: 2010-08-26

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima played diplomat, tourism promoter and goodwill ambassador over the past week as he and a team of top sales executives promoted Okinawa as a business and tourism destination to the Chinese.

Nakaima made both promises and assurances to China that he and Okinawa Prefecture will take steps to create new airport handling companies and expand Naha International Airport’s runways capabilities as a part of increasing tourism, while committing to get the Japanese government to reduce take off and landing fees. The governor, who along with Vice Governor Yoshiyuki Uehara, worked closely with Chinese aviation officials to get clearance for new flights between Hong Kong and Naha, found himself in a more touchy situation responding to Chinese demands that Okinawa abolish visa regulations for Chinese tourists.

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