26 Sep 2006

CNMI seeks to attract Japanese retirees to boost its economy

10:36 am on 26 September 2006

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana's Secretary of Commerce says attracting Japanese retirees to settle in the CNMI will raise tourism revenue and boost its economy.

James Santos, who has just returned from a visit to Japan, says 80 percent of all tourist arrivals are Japanese, and most are retirees.

He says the CNMI now wants to target retirees from Japan to relocate to the Commonwealth, which would also encourage more Japanese visitors.

Mr Santos says residency criteria are being developed.

"You have to be 55 years or older, you have to have an insurance policy that could be issued from Japan or purchased locally, as well as a minimum investment of 100,000 US dollars in a home or property in Saipan, Tinian or Rota. That will be the major requirement for a retiree wanting to come and live here."

He says the CNMI also wants to encourage retirees from other Asian countries to retire there.