• Kyodo News


Travel agency H.I.S. Co. said Friday it will provide financial assistance to struggling theme park Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, to help in its turnaround efforts.

H.I.S. said it has made the decision to aid in the rehabilitation of the theme park after judging it will help promote tourism in the region.

Sasebo Mayor Norio Tomonaga said at a news conference Friday that the city has decided to pay about ¥900 million annually for the next 10 years to H.I.S.

Meanwhile, H.I.S. Chairman Hideo Sawada said he wants to turn around the theme park and return it to profitability in two years, but added that Sasebo and Nagasaki Prefecture “should find another company to support them if the theme park will not turn around in three years.”

According to an agreement signed by the parties involved, after the current company running Huis Ten Bosch reduces all its capital, H.I.S. will invest ¥2 billion, while four other companies, including Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Saibu Gas Co., will invest a combined ¥1 billion.

Sawada said the Tokyo-based H.I.S. will focus on attracting visitors from China and South Korea.

Following a request from the city of Sasebo, H.I.S. has been discussing with Sasebo and the Nagasaki Prefectural Government the prospect of assistance to the theme park since last fall and wrapped up financial negotiations with them Thursday.

Negotiations included giving H.I.S. exemption from real estate tax for 10 years and placing part of the theme park’s facilities under public ownership.

Until recently, H.I.S. has said it would be difficult to provide financial assistance to the theme park, given the huge costs involved in repairing park facilities.

The company has estimated that up to ¥30 billion is necessary over five to 10 years to repair the facilities. The sum is far larger than the maximum ¥10 billion or so the travel agency says it can put up to aid the Dutch theme park.

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