Singapore and Japan have entered into a new partnership designed to drive two-way tourism between the countries.
In a ceremony held at the Japan Creative Centre in Singapore on Monday, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) penned a “memorandum of cooperation” (MOC) that details a series of bilateral measures to increase tourism flows between Singapore and Japan.
The signing was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries – a milestone which is being labelled ‘SJ50’.
“Singapore is an important country to Japan for global tourism exchange,” said JNTO president, Ryoichi Matsuyama. “With the signing of the MOC today, we hope to establish a deeper mutual relationship… and promote stronger bonds and partnerships between both nations.”
The partnership will be launched with food fairs in both countries. More than 20 Singapore restaurants will take part in the Singapore Food Fair, which will be held in Japan from 1 February to 15 March 2016. And in Singapore, the Japanese Restaurant Week will run from 24 February to 8 March, featuring more than 80 Japanese restaurants.
A new tourism logo has also been designed to mark the partnership, which features popular cartoon characters Hello Kitty and Dori-tan. This will be used on all promotional materials related to the SJ50 tourism partnership.
Other SJ50 tie-ups include Raffles Singapore creating a new ‘Sakura Sling’ cocktail using sake, and the hosting of a major Japanese flower display at Changi Airport.
Lionel Yeo, chief executive of the STB, called the MOC signing an “important milestone in the strong relationship between Japan and Singapore”.
“Japan has been and continues to be an important source of visitors to Singapore, just as Singaporeans are also visiting Japan in ever-increasing numbers,” Yeo said. “With this MOC, we look forward to more collaborations and joint initiatives to continually build and grow tow-way tourism traffic for both our destinations.”