Okinawa Governor Onaga to visit China for economic promotion

March 25 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga is considering visiting China as one of delegates of the Association for the Promotion of International Trade Japan, in the middle of April. The association’s members plan to meet senior officials of the Chinese government. Onaga aims to promote economic exchanges between Okinawa and China in the fields of logistics and tourism. He wants to realize his economic policy of focusing on Asia, which was one of the major platforms of his election campaign. In 2013, then Okinawa vice-governor Kurayoshi Takara took part in a delegate group to China. This is the first time an Okinawan Governor has taken part. There are about 70 delegate members, most of whom are representatives of major companies in Japan.

The delegates plan to visit Beijing and Xian from April 12 to 17. The delegation will consist of Onaga, Moritake Tomikawa, the head of Okinawa Asia Economic Strategy Plan (OAESP) Committee, and other members of the OAESP committee, and Okinawan companies from the Ryukyu Economic Strategy Study Association.

The association’s delegate members have previously met Wen Jiabao, then Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China in 2011, then Vice-President Xi Jinping in 2012, and Wang Yang, Vice Premier of China in 2013 and 2014.

The participants from Okinawa will stay in China from April 12 to 14. They plan to meet officials of China’s commercial department, and take part in conferences on the latest Chinese economic data and policy. The Okinawan delegate members will also interact with members of societies of commerce and industry in China.

A spokesperson for the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) said, “We would like to take this opportunity to promote economic exchanges between Okinawa and China. We hope companies use special economic zones in China and Okinawa to trade with each other.”

Hong Kong and Taiwan are the main importers of Okinawan products. The OPG wants China to import more Okinawan products. Tomikawa of the OAESP committee said, “To promote business with China, creating a network between officials in the OPG and the Chinese government is important.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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