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COALITION SEEKS INCREASE IN U.S.-JAPAN AIR SERVICE

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Utah is making moves to support a coalition that will promote increased air travel between the United States and Japan in preparation for the upcoming 2002 Winter Olympics.

The group is known as the Aviation Coalition for Competition and Expanded Services between the United States and Japan.The coalition's goal is to urge the Clinton administration to open talks with Japan to increase more nonstop flights in more cities throughout the United States.

"This agreement will increase tourism for Utah, accessibility to the state, and Japanese businesses will be more attracted to relocate in Utah," said Mike Sakurai, a trade executive for the Utah International Business Development Office.

All of these things equal more money and jobs.

"Salt Lake airport is ready to support these nonstop flights to and from Japan. They have customs all set up to do so. This will be very important during the Olympics," Sakurai said.

He said direct flights to the state would make it easier and less time-consuming for tourists to travel to the Olympics. It might also encourage them to stay longer.

Utah members of ACCESS include the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Salt Lake Airport Authority, Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mayor Deedee Corradini, the state of Utah, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Utah Travel Council and International Business Development.

ACCESS U.S.-Japan said opening the aviation market could reduce fares and generate more than $9 billion in new economic impact for the United States each year.

Corradini, in a recent letter to ACCESS U.S.-Japan, wrote: "I am pleased to convey the strong support of the citizens of Salt Lake City for the efforts of ACCESS U.S.-Japan in promoting enhanced international air service."