TAIPEI – Yokohama Hakkeijima Inc., a member of Japan’s Seibu Group, announced Monday that it will operate an aquarium to be built in northern Taiwan.
Construction will begin next year and the facility is expected to open in 2020, President Nobuyuki Furukawa told reporters after signing a joint venture agreement with Lee Chang-ken, president of Cathay Financial Holdings, at a Taipei hotel.
The company already operates six aquariums in Japan, including Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise and Aqua Park Shinagawa.
Lee, whose company will construct the aquarium, said he hopes it will boost tourism in Taoyuan, a city of over 2 million people that is southwest of Taipei.
The facility is forecast to attract 1.6 million visitors in its first year of operation.
It will be built as part of Taoyuan Aerotropolis, an urban project designed around Taoyuan Airport that will consist of business buildings, hotels, a shopping mall and a cinema, besides the aquarium.
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen hopes to promote Taoyuan as an example of a modern city and an Asian Silicon Valley, reflecting Tsai’s desire to reshape Taiwan’s industrial base.