President Surangel Whipps will leave on Monday for Japan for official meetings, including a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.  The meeting aims to strengthen the relationship with Japan, a major development partner of Palau.

One of the key objectives of the trip, reported Whipps during the Wednesday press conference, is to explore opportunities for direct flights between Japan and Palau, to revive the Japanese tourism market. 

“If the direct flight from Japan to Palau is not feasible, we want to explore the possibility of having Air Nuigini connect to Japan from Palau,” said Whipps.  He had discussed this option in Papua New Guinea with the Air Nuigini people and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

Restoring flights to Palau to revamp tourism has been on Whipps’s agenda.  In a recent visit to Korea, President Whipps pushed Jeju Airlines to fly directly from Korea to Palau.  Jeju Airlines will fly once a month starting July of this year until December, and in January, it will have established a regular schedule.  There are still discussions ongoing, but this is the tentative schedule for now.

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