Home > Other Stuff > News & Notes

News & Notes

Peace Boat works to promote peace and human rights

Jul 16 (Mon ), 2012

 Peace Boat works to promote peace and human rights   Peace Boat, a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace and human rights through a study program via ocean voyages, invited ECPAT International to facilitate a workshop in Phuket for its participants on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in Thailand.   The workshop was attended by approximately 50 participants of Peace Boat. The workshop aimed to create a better understanding of the different manifestations of CSEC: prostitution of children, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, and child pornography, and what actions have taken place by the Thai government and NGOs, especially initiatives by The Code and ECPAT.   After the workshop, the participants held a meeting the next day to discuss what actions they could do and decided to hold a “workshop” base on the one in Phuket for other participants of the Peace Boat (the boat has about a thousand passengers/participants).   Leading up to their workshop, a showing of the Japanese movie, “The Children of Darkness” took place to stir discussion (the movie focuses on the prostitution and trafficking of children in Thailand). Then the participants held their own workshop to approximately another 80-100 participants, which was divided into smaller groups to encourage discussions.   For example, one male participant shared that he worked in the tourism industry in Bangkok about 10 years ago, and he shared how many Japanese tourists came to ask “where they can play” as he was a front desk personnel. He admitted his ignorance to the issue then, but shared that he was encouraged that more people are aware, talking about the issues, and can clear action against the crimes by reporting now.   Source: thecode.org

AirAsia Launches ‘World’s Best Ever Sale!’

Jul 16 (Mon ), 2012

 AirAsia Launches ‘World’s Best Ever Sale!’   AirAsia has launched another ‘World’s Best Ever Sale!’,  with all-in-fares from as low as RM24 one way to domestic destinations in Malaysia such as Penang, Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kota Bharu, Kuching, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu and more.   All-in-fares to exciting international destinations such as Singapore, Phuket, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Guilin, Chennai, Kochi and others start from RM54 for one way travel.   All-in-fares from Clark International Airport to Kalibo, Puerto Princesa and Davao in Philippines are going from as low as RM36 one way; while domestic flights within Thailand are from as low as RM26 one way. Indonesian domestic flights start from as low as RM34 one way   The promotion is running from 16 – 22 July 201å2 for travel between 4 January and 22 May 2013. Terms and conditions apply.   Travellers can take advantage of these low fares and fly long-haul with AirAsia X from Kuala Lumpur to Japan (Osaka, Tokyo) from as low as RM 284 one way and from as low as RM 294 one way to China (Hangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu) and Taiwan (Taipei).   Other hot long-haul destinations offered are Korea (Seoul) with fares from as low as RM324 one way and Australia (Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney) from as low as RM354 one way.   Travellers can also enjoy long-haul Fly-thru deals from Australia to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China from as low as A$ 259 or vice versa.   Alternatively, guests from Australia, China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan may also hop on to Kuala Lumpur and connect to ASEAN and beyond, leveraging on the AirAsia’s low cost carrier network with affordable low fares.   Fly-thru deals to ASEAN and beyond start from as low as A$ 229 from Australia, JYP 14 900 from Japan, KRW 170 900 from Korea, CNY 709 from China and TW$ 3 990 from Taiwan.   AirAsia has just won the World’s Best Low Cost Airline award by Skytrax for the fourth consecutive year. Kathleen Tan, AirAsia’s Regional Head of Commercial said, “Yes, we did it again, and we could not be more excited about being awarded World’s Best Low Cost Airline again for the fourth consecutive year! We have our guests to thank for all their support, and throwing this ‘Thank You’ sale is our way of showing our gratitude to everyone who voted for us again in the Skytrax survey.”   Source: Asia Travel Tips

Jetstar Japan Orders 24 Airbus A320 Aircraft

Jul 13 (Fri ), 2012

 Jetstar Japan to Take Delivery of 24 Airbus Aircraft in Next Three Years   Jetstar Japan has finalized arrangements with five lessors so it can purchase and lease 24 new Airbus A320 aircraft.   All of the aircraft, scheduled to be delivered to the airline in the next three years, have been sourced through the Qantas Group’s existing fleet orders, allowing access to early delivery slots.   The Tokyo-based low cost airline started its commercial flights on 3 July with three of the new Airbus A320 aircraft configured for 180 passengers. Its fourth aircraft will be delivered next month.   The agreements are with five leading leasing companies, including Jetstar Japan shareholders Mitsubishi Corporation (through MC Aviation Partners), which will lease five aircraft, and Century Tokyo Leasing, which will lease six aircraft.   GE Capital Aviation Services, Hong Kong Aviation Capital and Jackson Square Aviation are lessors for six, four and three aircraft respectively.   Chief Executive Officer of Jetstar Japan, Miyuki Suzuki, said finalizing lease agreements for its fleet so early on reflected positive market sentiment towards Jetstar Japan’s prospects.   “It’s unique for a start-up airline to have completed such a large and complex set of transactions prior to the first flight and it’s a credit to the lessors we have selected,” said Ms Suzuki. “Our lessors understand the value of the Jetstar brand, our strategy and our business model and are excited to be part of the success of the new airline.” Before its first flight Jetstar Japan had sold well in excess of 100,000 fares. The airline will be operating up to 26 flights a day by the end of August 2012 and is planning to introduce international flights during 2013.   Source: Asia Travel Tips

HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series Grows to 10 Rounds

Jul 02 (Mon ), 2012

HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series Grows to 10 Rounds The International Rugby Board (IRB) has again expanded the HSBC Sevens World Series, with Argentina joining as a 10th venue on the upcoming 2012/13 Series.   La Plata will play host to some of the finest Sevens players on the planet for the second round of the upcoming Series on 20-21 October 2012, one week after the Gold Coast Sevens kicks off the new season in Australia.    A stellar 2012/13 Sevens season will be further enhanced by Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Moscow on 28-30 June, while the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens Series will also kick off.   Argentina's addition to the list of global hot spots signals the return of the Series to South America for the first time since 2002. It also means that every continent now hosts at least one round of the HSBC Sevens World Series with tournaments in Africa (1), Asia (3), Europe (2), Oceania (2), North America (1) and South America (1).   The announcement comes at an exciting time for the Series and for Argentina with the South Americans set to make their Rugby Championship debut next month alongside Australia, South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2011 champions New Zealand.   IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said, “I am delighted that Argentina is joining the impressive list of spectacular global destinations that comprise the record-breaking HSBC Sevens World Series. These are exciting times for South America, where participation has grown by 25% in the last four years owing to the prestige and profile of Rugby World Cup, the IRB and CONSUR's investment and development strategies and Olympic Games inclusion.   “Argentina continues to be the beating heart of the South American success story and we very much look forward to working in partnership with the Argentine Rugby Union and the Argentina government to deliver an event that will capture hearts and minds, benefit rugby throughout the region and mark another significant milestone as we countdown to Sevens' Olympic Games debut in Rio in 2016.”   2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series Fixtures   13-14 October 2012 Australia (Gold Coast) 20-21 October 2012 Argentina (La Plata) 30 November - 1 December 2012 Dubai 7-8 December 2012 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 1-2 February 2013 New Zealand (Wellington) 8-10 February 2013 USA (Las Vegas) 22-24 March 2013 Hong Kong 30-31 March 2013 Japan (Tokyo) 4-5 May 2013 Scotland (Glasgow) 11-12 May 2013 England (London)   Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, 28-30 June 2013 – Moscow, Russia

Summer Beer Gardens in Japan

Jun 22 (Fri ), 2012

Japan is a great place for beer lovers. When the heat gets turned up the faucets and beer gardens around Japan start flowing. Check out our listings of some great summer beer gardens throughout Japan, great places to beat the heat this sizzling season. Summer Beer Gardens in Japan www.outdoorjapan.com/japan-summer-beer-gardens

Peach Aviation to Launch Osaka - Hong Kong Flights

Jun 15 (Fri ), 2012

Peach Aviation to Launch Osaka - Hong Kong Flights   Peach Aviation, one of Japan’s first dedicated low cost carriers, has chosen Hong Kong as its second international destination after Seoul.   Starting from 2 July 2012, Peach Aviation will launch daily direct flights between Hong Kong and Osaka (Kansai), with Airbus A320-200 providing 180 seats.   Flight MM068, flying to Osaka, departs Hong Kong at 00:50; while flight MM067, returning to Hong Kong, departs Osaka at 21:10.   Airfares are available from HK$888, inclusive of fuel surcharge. Terms and conditions apply.   Source: Asia Travel Tips

Agora Place Asakusa Grand Opening July 27

Jun 15 (Fri ), 2012

Agora Place Asakusa Grand Opening July 27   The Agora Place Asakusa, located at 2-2-9, Kotobuki Taito-ku, Tokyo, is scheduled for their grand opening on July 27, 2012.     The 146-room Agora Place Asakusa will offer guests a personalised-stay concept - “style MY stay” - which allows hotel guests to shop and style their guestrooms with their preferred range of stylish amenities and stationeries including Agora’s own brand throughout their stay.   “We want our guests to feel at home when they stay at our hotel. Hence, we developed this “style MY stay” concept which we believe will set a new trend for a personalized staying experience. The guestrooms are stylishly minimalist in design and amenities are kept simple so guests can choose to furnish their rooms during their stay with us with a variety of chic goods that on sale at the Lobby Shop located in the ground floor of the hotel,” said Manager Masaru Shirakawa.   The brand new Agora Place Asakusa also boasts pet-friendly accommodation called “Precious Room”, which is specially designed to cater for guests who travel with their pets.   Agora Place Asakusa is located just off from "Tawaramachi" station of Ginza Metro Line, the entrance of Asakusa. It is the best location for visiting the leisure spot of hot Tokyo. Hotel guests can take Tokyo Metro Ginza Line directly to the trendy and popular shopping and fashion areas such as Ginza, Akasaka, Omotesando (Harajuku) and Shibuya station.   Source: Asia Travel Tips

KEEN Garage Harajuku Opens June 15

Jun 14 (Thu ), 2012

 KEEN Garage Harajuku Opens June 15 in Tokyo KEEN Footwear opens their flagship store in Japan on June 15, 2012. The oregon manufacturer of footwear, bags and socks will be bringing their "Hybrid Life" mantra to the streets of Harajuku.    Address 150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前 6-14-2 6-14-2, Jinguu-mae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan Tel: 03-5466-7350 Web: www.keen-japan.com  (Japan) / www.keenfootwear.com (International) KEEN Garage Harajuku Page on OJ Onlne: www.outdoorjapan.com/travel/gear_details/52  

AirAsia Japan gets its first Airbus A320

Jun 11 (Mon ), 2012

 AirAsia Japan has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft in Toulouse, France.   The Narita-based carrier will start commercial services on 1 August 2012 from Narita International Airport to Sapporo and Fukuoka, and from 3 August 2012 to Okinawa with an initial fleet of two aircraft.   AirAsia Japan will start international operations to Seoul (Incheon) and Pusan in Korea in October, with a fleet growing to four aircraft by the end of 2012.   AirAsia Japan’s A320s are configured with an all economy layout with 180 seats. Each aircraft is powered by CFM56 engines.   “We are extremely happy to take delivery of our brand new Airbus A320. Our aim is to provide opportunities for everyone to fly with low fares. With the A320’s cabin comfort and operational reliability, we want to offer better access, in particular for the Japanese travelling public, and make them feel easy to fly,” said AirAsia Japan President Kazuyuki Iwakata.   AirAsia Japan, established in August 2011, is a joint venture between Japan’s ANA Group (67%) and AirAsia (33%). Operating under the AirAsia brand, it will serve both domestic and international destinations.    Source: Asia Travel Tips

AirAsia X "Take a Break" Cheap Fares to Japan and Other Destinations

Jun 05 (Tue ), 2012

AirAsia X "Take a Break" Cheap Fares to Japan and Other Destinations AirAsia X has launched a Take a Break promotion which features fares from as low as MYR 349 to Japan, MYR 389 to Taiwan,  MYR 399 to Australia, China from MYR 419 or Seoul, Korea from MYR 489 from Kuala Lumpur. The “Take a Break” promotional fares are available for online bookings from until 17 June, 2012 for travel between 1 July 2012 and 27 October 2012. Terms and conditions apply.   Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X said, “AirAsia X’s continuous affordable fares and equal quality service will allow us to further increase travel demand throughout the festive and holiday seasons. For those who opt for a quieter holiday period, this is also a good time for anyone to take a break and plan their travel during the less hectic season of the year. There’s no better way to unwind and discover the unique cultures and sights which AirAsia X has to offer.”   AirAsia X long haul Fly-thru destinations on promotion in conjunction with the “Take A Break” Campaign include destinations from Australia (Perth) to Osaka, Japan from A$289 and from A$389 from Australia (Melbourne, Gold Coast) to Seoul, Korea.   Travellers from Taiwan (Taipei) can also take this opportunity to Fly-thru to Perth, Australia from as low as TW$ 8990.   Also available are fly-thru services from Australia, China, Japan, Korea and Taipei to AirAsia destinations in Thailand, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau. The Flu-thru service allows passengers to purchase two flight sectors with seamless transit via Kuala Lumpur.    Source: Asia Travel Tips