The Batam City Culture and Tourism Agency will send a letter to the Ministry of Tourism regarding the Rempang Island Friendship Monument. This monument located in Galang Subdistrict is considered to be a potential tourist destination especially for Japanese citizens.
“We will send a letter to the Ministry. Its contents inform about this historic site. And we hope to be able to get help to revitalize the monument, “said Head of Disbudpar, Ardiwinata at Batam Center, Friday (2/22).
The stone inscription reads Japanese. It read, among others, about the Japanese refugees in Rempang in 1945-1946. There were 112,708 refugees returning and 128 killed.
This monument was made by the Friendship Union of Pulau Rempang in August 1981. The monuments are written by the names of contributors with their best hopes for friendship between Indonesia and Japan and world peace.
“In 1981, Japanese people came to Rempang. Even the local lurah was taken to Japan at that time for an explanation of this, “said the former Head of Public Relations of Batam Setdako.
Ardi said based on word of mouth information, the arrival of these Japanese people to Rempang was because there were said to be their emperors killed here. But the information still needs to be explored. That’s why Disbudpar also plans to do an expedition regarding this matter.
“If this has been revitalized and further information is obtained, we hope this monument can become a new tourist destination. We can sell tour packages specifically targeting Japanese tourists, “he said.
New tourist destinations like this, said Ardi, are very much needed by Batam. Moreover, this year Batam gets a target from the central government to bring in 2.4 million foreign tourists (tourists). This figure is up 30 percent from the 2018 target of 1.8 million.
“Last year we surpassed the target with 1,887,244 foreign tourists visiting. This year we have a big challenge from the Ministry to bring in 2.4 million foreign tourists. Therefore we need new destinations, new attractions. This is one of them, “he said.