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The Fujimoto family from Okayama, Japan, have just been awarded the title ‘Friends of the Maltese Islands’, on the occasion of their 30th visit to Malta and in appreciation of their efforts to inspire others to discover the Maltese Islands.

The title was conferred to the Fujimotos by Dr Gavin Gulia, Chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority, on behalf of the MTA and the Ministry for Tourism, at the Authority’s offices at Smart City. Malta’s Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Andre Spiteri, was also in attendance.

The two brothers Matsaya and Tetsuya and their mother Chiharu are regular visitors to the islands and hold Malta very close to their heart. Not only have they been visiting Malta since 1996, but they are the owners of a coffee shop in Japan named ‘Tacsum. The name is inspired from a friendship the family developed with a Maltese family, and spells the surname ‘Muscat’ backwards. The shop offers slow food cooked using steam which, and as explained by the owners, is reflective of the charm they witness when in Malta.

As one can see from the website (, there are various items related to Malta on display in their coffee shop and the Fujimotos are always keen to recommend Malta to their customers as a travel destination. In fact, two customers of theirs have just left for Malta to study English.

On presenting the honour, Dr Gulia thanked the Fujimoto family for choosing Malta on so many occasions. He pointed out that one of the most effective forms of marketing is word of mouth based on personal experience. In the travel sector, as in any line of business, repeat customers and travellers who are loyal to the destination are extremely valuable. Recognition on such occasions, therefore, is not only in order, but serves as a way of encouragement towards tourists and locals alike. It serves as a reminder that the Maltese Islands have much more to offer than one may experience on a single occasion, and this concentration of wealth is what ought to instill a deep sense of pride. Dr Gulia concluded by thanking Ambassador Spiteri for bringing the Fujimoto family to the MTA’s attention and for his support in making Malta better known in Japan.

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