By Agence France-Presse
Guam’s number two politician Wednesday rolled out the welcome mat to tourists, promising his sun-kissed tropical island is safe — despite North Korea’s threat to launch missiles toward the Pacific US territory.
Lieutenant Governor Raymond Tenorio made the comments in Tokyo where he was joined by Guam’s tourism boss Jon Nathan Denight, amid fears that Pyongyang’s sabre-rattling will hammer the key tourism industry.
Last year, Japanese tourists made up about half of the 1.5 million visitors to the island, which is about a four-hour flight from Tokyo.
“We’re one of the most protected and safe islands you’ll find in the world,” Tenorio told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.
He added there was a big US military presence on Guam, a strategic outpost in the Pacific with its own missile defence system.
Added Denight: “Guam’s brand image was built as a very safe and family-friendly destination. I want to reassure people of Japan that there has been no change and Guam is safe for travel.”