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MANILA (Kyodo) All Nippon Airways will start daily flights between Narita and Manila in March, a move expected to boost arrivals from Japan, the Philippine Tourism Department said Wednesday.

The department said ANA will launch the inaugural flight from Narita to Manila on Feb. 27, with senior officials of the Japan Association of Travel Agents, led by its chairman, Akira Kanai, among the passengers.

“This new service between Narita and Manila will help us obtain a larger share of the Japanese outbound travelers. We are confident that the direct link, complemented by efforts of the JATA intermediaries, will stimulate stronger traffic from this major source market,” Philippine Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said in a statement.

Japanese accounted for the third-largest group of tourist arrivals in 2010, next to South Koreans and Americans, or 10.19 percent of the total visitor count of 3.52 million.

Last year’s 358,744 tourists from Japan, the government also noted, was 10.39 percent higher than in 2009.

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