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South Korea and Japan’s Prime Tourist Spots, Jeju and Aomori, Agree to Strengthen Exchange and Cooperation
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승인 2024.03.21  16:29:49
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Jeju Special Self-Governing Province in South Korea and Aomori Prefecture in Japan, both renowned for their natural beauty and World Natural Heritage sites, have agreed to enhance their exchange and cooperation in various fields, including the tourism industry.

On March 10th, Jeju Governor Oh Young-hoon met with a delegation from Aomori Prefecture, including Governor Miyashita Soichiro and Yutaka Marui, the Prefectural Assembly Chairman, at the Jeju Provincial Office Hall. They discussed ways to enhance exchanges and cooperation between Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Aomori Prefecture.

Aomori Prefecture, located in the northernmost part of Honshu in Japan, is known as the largest producer of apples and garlic in Japan. It is also famous for hosting the ‘Nebuta Festival,’ one of the three major festivals in Japan. Additionally, the Shirakami Mountains, stretching from the southwest of Aomori Prefecture to the northwest of Akita Prefecture, were designated as Japan’s first World Natural Heritage Site in 1993.

Since signing a sisterhood agreement on August 8, 2016, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and Aomori Prefecture have actively pursued exchanges in various fields over the past seven years. These fields include World Natural Heritage, tourism, culture, sports, and people-to-people exchanges, aiming to promote mutual development and prosperity between the two regions.

This visit marked the first official visit of Governor Miyashita Soichiro to Jeju since being elected as the Governor of Aomori Prefecture. Accompanying him were members of the prefectural assembly and key figures from various sectors, including economy, tourism, and media.

The visit began with a viewing of a promotional video showcasing Jeju’s major policies. Discussions focused on practical ways to enhance exchanges by maximizing the unique natural environments and characteristics of both regions. Additionally, they explored solutions and cooperative measures for improving Korea-Japan relations and mutual prosperity.

Governor Oh Young-hoon noted, “Jeju and Aomori share commonalities as the main producers of citrus and apples respectively, and both possess natural wonders and World Natural Heritage sites.” He emphasized the unique bond formed through these similarities, stating, “Leveraging our common points and closeness, Jeju has uniquely established a sister-city relationship with Aomori among Japanese local governments.”

He further added, “The exchange between our regions not only solidifies the friendship between Jeju and Aomori but also serves as a valuable catalyst for interaction and peace in Northeast Asia. The Jeju government will contribute significantly to improving Korea-Japan relations and cooperation by establishing a closer partnership with Aomori Prefecture.”

Governor Miyashita stated, “With the resumption of the flight route between Aomori Prefecture and Incheon from January 20th, exchanges with Jeju are expected to become more active.” He added, “I hope this visit will further strengthen the relationship between Aomori Prefecture and Jeju, and serve as an opportunity for the development of Northeast Asia and Korea-Japan relations.”

Chairman Marui commented, “Although the exchange between Jeju and Aomori was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, I ask for Jeju’s cooperation and support in resuming these interactions. In the Aomori Prefectural Assembly, we will learn from Jeju’s beautiful nature and exceptional culture and share these learnings in Aomori.”

Subsequently, Governor Oh Young-hoon presented iconic Jeju symbols including Dol Hareubang and the character mascots Goreubong and Burabong for the 2025 APEC summit in Jeju, while Governor Miyashita gifted traditional Aomori Prefecture crafts as souvenirs.

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