Japan and South Korea will discuss introducing shuttle flights between Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Kimpo airport near Seoul to boost air traffic between the two nations, transport minister Chikage Ogi said Friday.

The issue will be discussed Saturday during Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s summit with visiting Korean President Roh Moo Hyun.

“The matter will be decided in talks between the prime minister and the president,” Ogi said.

Ogi went on to express hope that the shuttle service facilitates the flow of travelers and contributes to Japan’s ambitious goal of doubling the number of incoming travelers to 10 million a year by 2010.

More tourists to Japan come from South Korea than anywhere else, with the annual figure exceeding 1.13 million as of 2001.

A spokesman at a major Japanese airline said the matter is worth considering, given the proximity of Haneda and Kimpo to metropolitan areas. Currently, regular flights are run between Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture and Inchon airport.

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