DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 January) — The upgrading of the Japanese Consular Office in Davao City to a Consulate-General shows Japan’s recognition of Davao as a tourism and investment destination, City Tourism chief Generose Tecson said.
“This is a very good news for us Dabawenyos because it shows Japan’s recognition of Davao City as a place which their citizens frequent not only for travel but also for investment,” Tecson said in a text message.
She said the consulate general facilitates trade and friendship between Japanese government and City of Government of Davao.
“Mindanawons and foreigners alike need not to go to Manila to get their visas,” she added.
The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines announced on its website on December 28 the upgrading of its consular office in Davao to a consulate-general status beginning January 1, 2019.
It said the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao will cover the same provinces as the Consular Office in Davao: Mindanao’s 27 provinces — Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi — and the 33 cities therein.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, visited the city on January 13, 2017. The couple also had breakfast in President Rodrigo Duterte’s house.
Arturo Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. said they will push for the establishment of Davao-Japan direct flights this year.
“We are really hoping Davao-Japan will open up because our history, we have historical connection with Japan,” he said.
“Connectivity is part of the tourism initiatives. You cannot talk about tourism unless you talk about connectivity,” he added.
Milan said the city must prepare for the expected tourist arrivals and understand the behavior of the tourists to create a memorable experience that will make them come back to Davao.
“All the things that we need to do to make their stay in Davao at least pleasant and a memorable one that will encourage them to come back,” he said.
The city has three other consulates general: Indonesia, Malaysia and People’s Republic of China. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews