FM Kono: Japan to Promote the Corridor of Tourism in Palestine

Monday, July 22, 2019

By Allison Pestotnik
Tokyo- PanOrient News- Japan will promote the corridor of tourism in Palestine as part of its support of Palestinian territories, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said today.

In a meeting with the Palestinian tourism and antiquities minister, Rula Maaya, at the ministry in Tokyo, Kono said he has visited the West Bank several times.

"I’ve been to Bethlehem and Jericho, and it is kind of amazing to see things that are in the Bible in front of you. I think there will be a possibility later to develop Japanese tourism there,” he said. “We are trying to promote the corridor for tourism.”

Maaya said in the meeting that tourism was important in Jericho and that she hoped that the project of renovating the floor mosaics in Hisham’s Palace will be finished by the end of next year. The project has received support from Japan.

Hisham’s Palace was built by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, the 10th Umayyad caliph, as a winter residence. With some of its original colors still visible, the palace reportedly featured a mosque, a fountain and a bathhouse near its residence.

When it was in use, Hisham’s Palace is thought to have been a striking two-story building with a portico and a ground hot water system that used revolutionary technology for its time.

The Palestinian minister invited Kono to attend the opening ceremony of the project, saying "I consider this project the most important project for me as a minister of tourism and I believe it is the most important project for the tourism sector because it is not like any other place. There’s a mosaic from the 8th century. It is going to make a difference in tourism, so I hope you can come.”

Kono said that the development of tourism is important to the Palestinian economy and that Japan would continue to promote cooperation in the field of tourism with the secretary, including the revitalization of the “Tourism Corridor” concept.

Maaya said that visiting Palestine will give the Japanese tourists a different experience and that there is much to see there considering the region’s history and diversity of nature.

© PanOrient News All Rights Reserved.