Taiwan and Japan agreed Friday to expand air services between the countries to further promote bilateral exchanges, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said.
The renewed deal signed by the Taipei-based East Asia Relations Commission and Japan’s Interchange Association, set up in the absence of official ties, will lead to a 43 percent growth in regular passenger flight services and a 50 percent rise in the cargo sector, the ministry’s Civil Aeronautics Administration said in a press release.
According to the pact, passenger flights between Taipei and Osaka will increase from seven to 14 per week, Taipei and Nagoya from seven to 14, Taipei and Sapporo from five to 14, Taipei and Sendai from two to four and Taipei and Hiroshima from three to seven.
Meanwhile, seeing a hike in charter services from 2,000 flights in 2004 to 3,000 in 2005, two more Taiwanese airline companies will be allowed to join regular carriers to compete in the charter-flight market.
‘‘The new pact will enable air carriers to largely enlarge their business, which will not only help promote economic and trade exchanges between Taiwan and Japan, but enhance tourism development as well,’’ the statement said.
Tokyo switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1972.
Japan is ranked as Taiwan’s second largest air transportation market after Hong Kong and Macao.
Last year, more than 1.3 million Taiwanese visited Japan and over 1.1 million Japanese tourists came to the island.