Since the partnership established in 2016, Hisnchu County’s Hexing Station, dubbed “Love Station,” and Obihiro City’s Kofuku Station, literally known as “Happiness Station,” have made some achievements. The two train stations have cooperatively made their brochure and launched a stamp collecting campaign. On June 10th, Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun led a delegation to Grand Hotel in Sapporo, Japan, where he met Vice Chairman of Tokachi Japan-Taiwan Friendship Association, Hirokazu Nakamura. In the conference, Magistrate Chiu and Vice Chairman Nakamura officially announced the beginning of the stamp collecting campaign by sticking the enlarged stamps to an enlarged brochure of 120 centimeters in height. Both sides are looking forward to seeing visitors from all over the world fall in love in Hsinchu County and pursue happiness in Hokkaido.
From now until March 31st, 2020, people who successfully collect the stamps of both train stations can get exclusive souvenirs: the house-shaped pencil sharpener given by Hexing Station and the mug given by Kofuku Station. In the future, it is hoped that other special products can be released and sold at the stores in both train stations.
Magistrate Chiu indicated that Hexing Station and Kofuku Station had first contact in 2014 due to their special names. In 2016, both sides signed an MOU at Hexing Station and installed a public artwork named Everlasting Love and Happiness in hopes of promoting their tourism. Recently, Hsinchu County Government has been planning to spend $22.5 million ($18 million from Construction and Planning Agency and $4.5 million form the county government) developing 3 hectares of land across from Hexing Station. The land will follow the theme “love” and is expected to become a new highlight along Hakka Romantic Avenue.
Vice Chairman of Tokachi Japan-Taiwan Friendship Association, Hirokazu Nakamura, showed that since the tie-up with Hexing Station, the number of tourists to Tokachi has increased by 23 thousand, half of which is credited with Taiwan. Besides, compared with last year, the total number of tourists has increased by 13%, which leads to great economic growth. Vice Chairman Nakamura further indicated that there are many visitors from Taiwan traveling in Hokkaido, but not many visitors from Hokkaido going to Taiwan. Thus, he hoped that he could encourage Japanese people to go traveling in Taiwan, especially Hsinchu County, by means of charter flights in the future, and that the tourism industries of both sides could boom together.