Taiwan's China Airlines to boost Japanese flights

Taiwan's largest carrier China Airlines has said it will increase flights to Japan by around 30 percent beginning from Sunday to meet rising demand.

The company will add flights to Tokyo, Osaka and two other major cities and fly to three new destinations -- Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Toyama -- to boost its weekly flights to Japan from 90 to 119, it said in a statement Friday.

The announcement came after Taiwan and Japan signed an open skies agreement late last year, allowing Taiwanese carriers to offer unlimited flights to any Japanese destination except Tokyo.

Japan formally recognises China rather than Taiwan but has maintained close ties with the island, which it colonised from 1895 to 1945.

Japan is Taiwan's second largest trade partner after China and it signed an investment pact with Taipei last year to boost trade.