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Taiwanese tourists fly to Fukushima

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FUKUSHIMA, Japan — A TransAsia Airways chartered flight with 180 tourists onboard landed at Fukushima airport Saturday morning, the first international flight to arrive since March 11, giving the re

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — A TransAsia Airways chartered flight with 180 tourists onboard landed at Fukushima airport Saturday morning, the first international flight to arrive since March 11, giving the region’s badly-hit tourism industry a much needed lift.

The tourists are participating in a four-day tour organized by several travel agencies in Taiwan, and will visit sites mainly around the prefecture’s scenic Aizu region.

The airport’s regular services to Seoul and Shanghai remain suspended because of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

To reverse the plunging number of foreign visitors to Fukushima, the prefecture has been running promotional campaigns in Taiwan, as well as in China and South Korea.

The chartered plane will carry Japanese tourists to Taiwan on its return flight.

Operations at the airport, about 50 km inland from the prefecture’s coast, were not affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Taiwan’s airlines have started operating chartered flights to Fukushima Prefecture in recent years.