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'Time for Taiwan' tourism program to launch in Japan

The Tourism Bureau (觀光局) will launch a “Time for Taiwan” tourism promotion by presenting creative Taiwanese cuisines in Tokyo in a bid to attract more Japanese to visit Taiwan this year, according to a press release issued by the bureau.

Director-General of the bureau David W.J. Hsieh (謝謂君) will lead a group of top chefs in Taiwan to present creative Taiwanese cuisines at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on May 18 in cooperation with Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, to promote the soft strength of Taiwan's tourism sector through the presentation of delicious Taiwanese cuisines.

As 2012 has been set as a Taiwan-Japan tourism promotion year, the Tourism Bureau hopes that both sides can join forces to boost two-way tourist arrivals to 3 million in the year.

Members of the group of top chefs to visit Japan include Chen Chao-lin, winner of the golden award at a competition held at the 2011 Taiwan Culinary Exhibition; Shih Chien-fa, chairman of Chinese Gourmet Association; Hsu Chuan-hui, a famous chef in southern city of Tainan, and other outstanding young chefs. They will utilize Taiwanese and Japanese food materials to work out 10 representative Taiwanese dishes bearing the theme of “life.”

Statistics released by the Tourism Bureau showed that Japanese tourist arrivals in Taiwan hit a record high of 1.29 million in 2011, as a result of the growing popularity and reputation of Taiwan among Japanese in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hitting northeastern Japan.

The Tourism Bureau and local tourism sector joined forces to invite 1,000 Japanese in the disaster-stricken areas to tour Taiwan after the earthquake, and Taiwanese together offered cash donations of over 20 billion Japanese yen to Japan. These, coupled with follow-up promotion efforts by the Tourism Bureau, helped to inspire more and more Japanese tourists to visit Taiwan last year.

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