As the Northern Marianas bounces back from the devastation of last year's typhoon, it is optimistic tourist numbers will improve in 2020.
The promise of a revival of the Japanese market is a big part of this.
The Marianas' Visitors Authority said daily direct flights from Tokyo to Saipan begin next week.
The scheduled flights could bring an estimated 40,000 visitors to the Northern Marianas from Japan this fiscal year, based on an 80 percent load factor.
Last year, only about 12,000 Japanese visitors arrived in the CNMI.
In the previous financial year, CNMI visitor numbers were down 32 percent, to just over 400,000 with the trade war between South Korea and Japan, protests in Hong Kong and recession in key markets all contributing to the decline.