Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Norikazu Suzuki told the media that he will help in bringing back the regular direct flights between Palau and Japan after realizing its importance.

Suzuki, who visited Palau for the first time to attend the Palau-Japan Trade, Investment, and Tourism Seminar that was held on December 4 at the Palasia Hotel, shared that taking the flight to Palau via Guam had made him notice the importance of establishing regular direct flights between the two countries.

Delta Airlines, the only carrier that previously offered regular flights between Palau and Japan, pulled out its service here since May, citing low demand in the region as the main reason. Its suspension of airline service for Japan-Palau route had been credited for the decreasing number of Japanese tourists that visited the country this year.

“I think the direct flight is necessary and without direct flight we will not [be able to revive this number],” Suzuki said.

While expressing his willingness to help Palau increase tourist numbers, Suzuki also recognized the challenge in realizing this initiative especially that this involve the private sector which make decisions based on profit.

“I would like to communicate with the private sectors and think about what we can do with the Japanese government,” Suzuki said.

Suzuki also said that the joint economic forum was a great start to enhance Palau’s tourism. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)