Olympic swim medalist dips into Marianas spearfishing

(MVA) — Japan’s Fuji TV is shining a spotlight on spearfishing in the Marianas this month with Olympic medalist swimmer Takeshi Matsuda.

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Japan Olympic swimmer Takeshi Matsuda, left, learns about indigenous Chamorro fishing practices while filming “Menkyo-Kaiden” (or “Having full mastery”) with Fuji TV in the Marianas on March 15, 2019.  MVA photo

Matsuda will be featured exploring indigenous Chamorro culture on the 30-minute program “Menkyo-Kaiden,” meaning, “Having full mastership.”

While in Saipan in mid-March, Matsuda received several days of spearfishing training with local spearfishing master Felix Sasamoto and local company Aqua Smith at Laulau Beach, Obyan Beach, Lower Base Beach, and other locations. The program will also feature the natural environment of Saipan and a history of fishing in the Marianas.

“It’s wonderful and important to see the return of Japanese media to the Marianas, evidence of their renewed interest in the market with the commencement of direct flights from Japan by Skymark Airlines,” said Marianas Visitors Authority acting Managing Director Judy Torres. “As with our other source markets, MVA will continue to extend its full support to these type of familiarization tours that generate an exponential amount of positive media coverage and public awareness for our destination.”

The Marianas show is scheduled to air on April 27, 2019. While spearfishing is largely restricted in Japan, there is public interest in the sport. “Menkyo-Kaiden” reaches an estimated 9.7 million people daily and will bring an estimated $750,000 in ad value to the Marianas.