TOTTORI, Japan, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Tottori airport reopened as Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport on March 1 and the Tottori prefectural government held a ceremony to mark its renewal opening. A commemorative chartered flight from Shanghai arrived at the airport and received warm welcome from Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai and others.
The airport was named after the main character of widely-popular manga and anime series "Detective Conan-Case Closed" by Gosho Aoyama who hails from the prefecture.
"With the attendance of members of the media from around the world in this event, Tottori Sand Dunes Conan Airport started its history under global attention," said Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai in his address at the outset of the ceremony.
The prefecture home to a number of manga artists has been utilizing the power of manga as a tool of promotion under the Manga Kingdom Tottori initiative, hoping to increase people exchange and vitalize the region.
He also mentioned about promoting tourist attractions of Tottori, including Tottori Sand Dunes, inside and outside the country. The sand dunes are the most famous sand hills in Japan, known for the size of its heave and plants unique to the dunes.
In a video message played during the ceremony, manga artist Aoyama expressed his excitement about the renewal opening of the airport and said, "I hope many visitors from around the world will visit Tottori Prefecture through the airport and the prefecture will be energized."
Aoyama also expressed his desire that participants of the ceremony will enjoy the decorations of the airport featuring Conan characters and trick art.
Twenty one spots in the airport facilities are decorated with drawings and objects featuring characters of the Detective Conan series.
The 18-meter long and 8-meter wide 3D trick art, depicting Conan riding on a camel at the Tottori Sand Dunes, on the ground level floor of an airport building was unveiled during the opening ceremony.
The governor spoke with the foreign press members at the airport prior to the ceremony, saying "Worldly-popular Conan became the symbol of this airport. I wish people from all over the world will visit here."
Akemi Nakanishi or Yoshifumi Okayama
Manga Kingdom Secretariat
Culture, Tourism and Sports Bureau
Tottori Prefectural Government
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