HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 599: 18 January 2012

Cook Islands Promoted on Popular Japanese Radio Station
Nana Hirata has been working hard behind the scenes to promote the Cook Islands in her homeland of Japan. Her role as Japanese Speaking Coordinator with Turama Pacific Travel Group has seen her doing a range of promotional and media work in establishing stronger ties in tourism between the two countries.
Hirata’s most recent exploit was an interview on a Japanese radio station ‘J fm’. She says the station is broadcast nationwide and is popular. The show is called ‘Flower Network’ and is dedicated to interviewing Japanese people living overseas. According to Hirata, this is the first time on the show they have spoken to someone living in the Cook Islands. The interview was around seven minutes long and Hirata says that the knowledge in Japan of the Cook Islands is limited, so she kept her information to the basics, speaking about the people and the culture. She also highlighted Aitutaki as a ‘must-see’ for visitors to the Cook Islands.
The interview came about through the Japan-based Pacific Island Centre (PIC), which acts as a kind of trade and tourism office for some Pacific Island countries, including the Cook Islands. Hirata produces a monthly newsletter which is published on the PIC website. J FM saw this newsletter and subsequently contacted Hirata to be a part of their show.
Hirata’s work has also included collaborations with several Japanese television shows and it seems the few years she has put into increasing tourism from Japan has really only just begun to bear fruit. Hirata indeed is one to watch for the expansion of Cook Islands tourism into the Land of the Rising Sun. -Ngariki Ngatae

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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