A group of Japanese journalists is to visit Moscow this week at the invitation of the Moscow government to see the sights of the Russian capital. The Russian side finances the project. The Moscow Association of Tourist Agencies (MATA), the Airoflot airlines and the Russian Information Agency Novosti are contributing to the implementation of the project. The representatives of the central and specialised tourist mass media of Japan will be staying in Moscow from May 15th till May 19th. They will be going on excursions around the Russian capital and will be visiting the Moscow International Tourist Exhibition. In 2002 the Moscow government and the MATA association plan to organise a series of tours to Moscow for foreign journalists who write about tourism and travelling. These so-called press-tours are meant to give foreigners a better chance of getting to know the sights of Moscow and to invite more foreign tourists to visit the Russian capital.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.