Symposium commemorating the designation of the Kerama Islands as a national park

Symposium commemorating the designation of the Kerama Islands as a national park

At Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Naha on February 27, a commemorative symposium was held to discuss the importance of the designation of Kerama Islands as a national park.

February 28, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Commemorating this week’s designation of Kerama Islands as a national park, a symposium was held at Ryukyu Shimpo Hall in Izumizaki district of Naha on February 27. A keynote lecture and panel discussion focused on co-ordinating the effort to promote Kerama worldwide. Speakers affirmed the need to balance protection and use of the islands. Tokashiki Village and Zamami Village resolved to engage together in the tourism promotion by creating “Kerama Brand.”

Makoto Tsuchiya, professor at the University of the Ryukyus Marine Science Department gave a keynote speech. Tsuchiya said, “The designation as a national park is not the final goal. It is important to know the importance of nature and keep a positive relationship with it for the next generation.”

Tsuchiya, Tokashiki Village Mayor Masashige Zamami and Zamami Village Mayor Satoru Miyazato, Tokashiki Village Chamber of Commerce President Toru Shigaki and Zamami Diving Association President Hideo Matayoshi took part in the panel discussion. Takaya Tomoyose of Ryukyu Shimpo facilitated the discussion.

Expecting the number of tourists to increase, Zamami said, “It is necessary to improve preparation for hosting tourists.” Miyazato stressed the importance of collaborating with the Diving Association to create unified rule for protecting ocean habitat. Arakaki suggested that both the villages should create tourism products. He said, “It is important for both the villages to co-host various events.” Matayoshi said, “With the designation, we would like to collaborate to promote the islands.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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