Jan 19, 2019

PM Abe praises football star Andres Iniesta for promoting Japan

TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday thanked Spanish football superstar Andres Iniesta, who now plays in Japan, for posting social media messages about the country and local tourist attractions.

"You have spread information on Japan. Maybe because of that, the number of Spanish tourists has increased," Abe told the 34-year-old Vissel Kobe midfielder when he visited the prime minister's office in Tokyo.

PM Abe praises football star Andres Iniesta for promoting Japan photo

(Iniesta poses for a photo with Abe at the premier's office in Tokyo. On the left is Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman of Iniesta's Vissel Kobe and CEO of online shopping giant Rakuten Inc.)

Iniesta told Abe he enjoys life in Japan with his family, and has traveled to Kyoto and Nara prefectures, both of which are major tourist destinations in western Japan.

He also told reporters through an interpreter that he is eager to contribute to Vissel Kobe's success.

Vissel Chairman Hiroshi Mikitani, who is also CEO of online shopping giant Rakuten Inc., accompanied Iniesta on the visit.



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