Taiwan, Japan to promote tourism between stations


TAIPEI — Railway officials in Taiwan and Japan vowed on Monday to carry out more projects to boost tourism through namesake stations, one year after the stations launched a program to increase traffic at the two venues and in their cities.

Taiwan’s Songshan Train Station and Japan’s Matsuyama Train Station became sister stations in 2013 in a bid to encourage travel and cultural exchanges by sharing tourism information.

The program was a success, said Shikoku Railway Co. Director Eiichi Yata, adding that more than 10,000 Taiwanese tourists have visited Matsuyama on Japan’s Shikoku Island since the campaign kicked off.

That number accounts for more than half of the international visitors to Matsuyama over that time, he said.

“There are many similarities between Taiwan and Japan railways,” Yata said.

The match was made because the Chinese characters used in the names Songshan and Matsuyama are identical and mean “pine mountain.”

In the future, the Matsuyama station will present more information about Songshan Station and its different train models and on the railway merchandise available in Taiwan, he said.

Similarly, Songshan Station will hold a Matsuyama food fair from Monday to Oct. 19 and show a travel clip about the Japanese city.