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Visit Japan opens on Ishigaki Island

Date Posted: 2010-09-02

A sightseeing company on Ishigaki Island, “Ishigaki Kankou”, has been designated the “Visit Japan Information Center” by the Japanese Government.
The “Visit Japan Information Center” was the brainchild of the government, to take care of foreign visitors at an office in Ishigaki Airport.

The center staff will take care for the visitors, support sightseeing, and fulfill visitors’ needs. The Ishigaki Kankou says “We will support foreign visitors and raise the sightseeing quality in Yaeyama islands.” The Ishigaki Kankou is the 5th designated company to be a “Visit Japan Information Center” in Okinawa Prefecture, and the first in Yaeyama. The designation was official on the 23rd of July.

The office staff speaks foreign languages and distributes pamphlets written in foreign languages too. Now, five English speaking staff and two Chinese speaking staff are working there. Kaori Kinjo who works the sightseeing section of Ishigaki Kankou says “The number of foreign visitors coming to the island is growing, and we want to make sure, which nationality they are, how many people are coming, or what they want to do. We can then search details with our bilingual staff and make suggestions for their schedule while visiting here.”

The statistics concerning the visitors are reported to the government sightseeing bureau every month, and will be utilized for charts and sharing information with other Visit Japan Centers elsewhere in Japan. The English speaking staff, Kazuyo Toyokawa says, “The foreigners are coming here with no knowledge of the island, and many visitors are arranging their hotel or rent a car only after they get here. We want to support them friendly and politely; our pleasure is a visitor’s smile, and their talk about how they love our island.”

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