A SENIOR official with Japanese railways paid a special visit to see the Isle of Man’s rolling stock.
Masaki Ogata is the vice-president of Japan Railway East and a senior representative of the international railways community.
Mr Ogata was given a tour of Tynwald and the island’s railways by Department of Community, Culture and Leisure Minister Graham Cregeen MHK and director of public transport Ian Longworth.
His visit to the island came after listening to his friend, and Isle of Man admirer, Atsuyoshi Numata, who is vice-president of Fuji TV and president of Discovery Channel and Animal World for Sky TV in Japan. The railway buff has been a frequent visitor in recent years.
It appears Mr Numata is something of an unofficial Isle of Man ambassador who talks about the island in glowing terms back home in Japan.
He has a struck up close friendship with Manx resident Dollin Kelly, who joined the group during the visit. It was the relationship between Mr Numata and Dollin Kelly that led to this visit and subsequent involvement of the department.