Special Report: Thais encouraged to visit Chiba – Gateway to Japan


On the occasion of the Governor of Japan’s Chiba prefecture’s visit to Thailand during August 17-22, the Embassy of Japan in Bangkok hosted the ‘Chiba – the Gateway to Japan’ hospitality event on August 20 in order to deepen the Thai-Japanese relations. 

Chiba, the lesser-known neighbor of Tokyo, is located directly east of the capital. The prefecture is best known for being home to Tokyo Disney resort and Narita International airport, which draw in millions of visitors and passengers each year. Unbeknownst to most travellers, Chiba is Japan’s third agricultural producer and its population is one of the country’s wealthiest thanks to its strong commercial and industrial sectors.

Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita, former actor and singer, said at the event that in addition to their locally grown fruit and vegetables, the prefecture, surrounded by oceans and rivers, is one of the leading exporters of marine products in Japan. Black water hot springs are also unique to Yoro Valley in the prefecture, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.

Accompanied by 40 Japanese delegates during this visit, Mr Kensaku was best known for the early 1970s TV series, “Ore wa Otoko da”, in which he played a high-school kendo enthusiast who has a strong passion for moral rectitude and love of Japan’s spirit. The series was broadcasted in countries across Asia including Thailand.

The governor noted that the prefecture aims to attract Thai visitors as the prefectural government has strong ties with the Thai communities in Chiba, which boasts the second largest Thai population next to Tokyo.

Mr Kensaku also expressed his appreciation for Thailand’s assistance during last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, which damaged parts of the agricultural land in the prefecture. Addressing rumors of power shortages in the prefecture in the aftermath of the March 2011 disaster, he confirmed that power supply in the region is more than sufficient.