Aomori Port Internationalization Committee

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Achievements
Aomori Port Internationalization Committee 2006 Activities
The Cruise Liner Statendam Makes a Call on Aomori Port
写真Following the Amsterdam on October 17, 2005, the foreign cruise liner Statendam (55,451t) came into port on May 7, 2006. The Statendam was escorted into port by pleasure boats, and a welcome ceremony was held upon its arrival. At the ceremony, Miss Nebuta’s gave flower baskets and commemoratives to the captain and guests. Kagami-biraki and matoi-buri, both traditional Japanese celebratory ceremonies, were held in honor of the Statendam’s first disembarkation to Aomori. Aomori citizens made passengers of the Amsterdam feel welcome with Nebuta musical performances and the traditional Japanese dance included in matoi-buri. Additionally, to ensure that passengers could feel at ease walking through town, APIC assigned volunteer translators throughout the central shopping area and loaned out electric wheelchairs. Many passengers and crew visited Aomori’s shopping areas and areas of interest. APIC caught sight of many people shopping and conversing with local residents, and in this way the Statendam’s mooring fostered both internationalization and regional revitalization. On the occasion of its setting sail, passengers of the Statendam were treated to a Tsugaru shamisen performance and a Sōran-bushi dance display before countless Aomori city residents sent them off, waving handkerchiefs in prayer for the Amsterdam’s safe voyage.
Implementation of Welcome Events for Cruise Liners
写真Beginning with the Clipper Odyssey on April 29, 2006, a total of eight other ships—including the Pacific Venus, Nippon Maru, and Asuka cruise ships—received welcome ceremonies when they entered Aomori port; around 5,000 passengers visited Aomori, and each time a welcome ceremony was held in our guests’ honor. Aomori’s welcome was received favorably among captains and passengers alike. They stated, “We are appreciative of Aomori’s warm welcome. We would like to come again next year, too.” Additionally, cruise captains returned the welcome by inviting Aomori residents onboard their vessels to share the splendor of cruise tours; in all, APIC conducted 4 onboard tours. Aomori residents were dazzled and amazed at the facilities, which they said rivaled luxury hotels, and voiced a desire to take a voyage by sea.
Aomori Port Cruise Seminar
写真APIC held a cruise seminar onboard the Pacific Venus on October 14, 2006. Over 100 residents came to participate and take a tour of the Pacific Venus. After this, Mr. Toshimi Wakase, the executive director of Kaiji Press Co., Ltd., gave a speech titled “Journeys Spanning the Globe ~Approaching 100 Years of Aomori Port~”, in which he spoke of the state of international cruising in recent years and the lure of Aomori Port. Subsequently, in a round-table discussion themed on the lure of cruising and of port of call, Mr. Wakase and Mr. Hisa Yurakazu, the captain of the Pacific Venus, deepened everyone’s understanding with explanations of how to enjoy cruises onboard and off and reiterating the lure of enjoying the four seasons and beauty of nature at each different port of call.
Visiting Cruise Lines Abroad for Sales
写真From October 21-28, APIC administration members formed a delegation to the U.S.A. to visit 9 cruise lines. The group conducted port sales for Aomori Port by introducing its tourism resources and places of interest.
Participation in the World’s Largest Cruise Convention for the Fourth Time
写真As a part of the Visit Japan Campaign (VJC) project, APIC again participated in public relations for Japan at the 2006 Sea Trade, Cruise, & Shipping Convention, a convention held every March in Miami, Florida.
APIC, along with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), VJC Bureau, and the other participating regional ports—Kobe, Hiroshima, and Naha—shared a joint exhibit booth with China and Korea. APIC introduced Aomori’s folk arts and crafts to foreign cruise lines in order to promote Aomori’s attractiveness as a port of call.

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