Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City that he had reached an agreement with two Vietnamese companies to temporarily increase charter flights between Vietnam and the northeastern prefecture.

Local budget carrier Vietjet Air and travel agency Vietravel agreed to boost charter services linking Ho Chi Minh City and Fukushima Airport between February and April.

During those three months, Vietjet Air will operate 15 round-trip flights and Vietravel will sell tour packages.

Uchibori said the charter flights will facilitate economic exchanges and invigorate the flow of people between his prefecture and Vietnam.

He also said he would also like “Vietnamese people to see Fukushima making its way on reconstruction” after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis and “feel hope for the future.”

Uchibori also sold pears grown in the prefecture and offered tastings at an Aeon supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City, where Aeon launched full-scale sales of nashi (Japanese pears) the same day.

He said that when Vietnamese told him the Fukushima pears were delicious, he felt confident about eliminating unfounded rumors that food from Fukushima is contaminated with fallout from the core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

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