Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, held a meeting with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hayashijem Yoshimasom, on Friday, July 21, 2023, the first day of his two-day official visit to Japan.
During the meeting, the ministers signed an Air Service Agreement, which holds great importance as it enables the establishment of regular direct air routes and facilitates intensified economic collaboration between Croatia and Japan.
“Direct air travel will significantly contribute to the exchange of tourists between the two countries and ease the process of fostering economic and other forms of cooperation. Moreover, it will not only strengthen Croatia’s partnership with Japan but also with other nations in the Far East, particularly the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a statement.
In the first six months of this year, Croatia welcomed a total of 13,441 Japanese tourists, marking a significant increase in the number of visitors from Japan.
Until now, there has been no direct and regular air traffic between Croatia and Japan, and there was no bilateral international agreement on air transport. However, with this new agreement, both countries are looking forward to establishing a direct air route that will make travel more accessible and convenient for tourists and business travellers alike.
Japanese tourists have shown great interest in Croatia. In 2021, Croatia welcomed 4,842 Japanese tourists, with a total of 15,099 overnight stays recorded.
The following year, 2022, saw a substantial increase in arrivals, reaching 11,961 Japanese tourists, marking a significant 147 percent rise, with overnight stays totalling 33,768, a 124 percent increase compared to the previous year.
In #Tokyo, ministers 🇭🇷 @grlicradman and 🇯🇵 @MofaJapan_en Yoshimasa Hayashi signed the Air Service Agreement. Its conclusion will enable 🇭🇷 and 🇯🇵 to establish regular air routes – important for economy, tourism and more frequent people to people connections. pic.twitter.com/0sFJGS3BA6— MVEP/MFEA 🇭🇷 (@MVEP_hr) July 21, 2023
As both nations embark on this aviation agreement, they are eagerly anticipating an increase in tourism and stronger bilateral relations. By fostering easier travel and promoting cultural exchange, the agreement will undoubtedly deepen the ties between Croatia and Japan, leading to a flourishing partnership for years to come, daly Večernji list writes.