“We see potential in cooperating with Brunei Darussalam in promoting the Sultanate to visitors to Atami City,” Atami City Tourism Development Department Officer Tatsumi Shuji said.
He said this after a meeting between Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin and an 11-member delegation from Atami City in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, yesterday.
“There are three million domestic visitors to Atami City annually and this will present a huge potential to introduce Brunei as a tourist destination to the Japanese people,” he said.
“The city is filled with cherry blossoms and plum flowers. There is also a fireworks festival and the city offers easy access to Mount Fuji and plenty of accommodation for hot springs.”
He added, ”We also hope to attract Muslim tourists including from Brunei to Atami City. We are also looking into venturing in the halal food industry.
“We have met with officials fom Ghanim International Corporation and discussed bringing Japanese ingredients to Brunei for processing into halal food to be exported back to Japan.
“Brunei is recognised as a halal certification provider, and the city aims to utilise Brunei halal certification for food retailers.”
The Japanese delegation led by Atami City Assembly Chairman Osamu Koshimura paid a courtesy call on Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Abdul Manaf, where the minister welcomed the proposed cooperation.
As a show of commitment, the delegation presented the minister with Japanese koi fish to symbolise love and friendship in Japanese culture.
Tatsumi felt that the discussion went well and was impressed by the suggestions proposed by the minister.
Also present were Acting Director of Tourism Wanidawati binti Tamat and Acting Director of Tourism Development Salinah binti Haji Mohd Salleh with Atami City Council Vice Chairman Akao Koichi, Atami City Council member Tanaka Hidetaka and other officials.
In early 2020, Atami City Council members visited Brunei Darussalam for the first time to forge cooperation.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in furthering the cooperation.