14:16 30 January 2017
Pop group JKT48 appointed as tourism ambassadors for Hokkaido city
HAKODATE, Japan, Jan. 30, Kyodo
The city of Hakodate in Japan's northernmost prefecture Hokkaido on Monday appointed Jakarta-based pop idol group JKT48 as tourism ambassadors in a bid to draw visitors from Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.
Some members of the overseas sister group of AKB48, one of the most popular Japanese all-girl idol groups, visited Hakodate city hall and accepted the appointment from Mayor Toshiki Kudo.
"I hope (Indonesian people) will experience the cold weather of Hokkaido, as it is hot in Indonesia," Melody Nurramdhani Laksani, the 24-year-old leader of JKT48, told reporters through an interpreter.
"Social networking services are among the ways I'll promote the attractions of Hakodate."
Group members will take part in events to promote Hakodate in Southeast Asian countries.
"I've heard the number of people traveling abroad has been increasing as the Indonesian economy grows. I'd like to pay a visit there, too," the mayor said during his meeting with the JKT48 members.
On Monday the group shot a music video local tourist destinations including the Hakodate Asaichi, a morning market famous for fresh fish, and the 107-meter-tall Goryokaku Tower, which commands a view of the city located in southeastern part of Hokkaido.
The JKT48 members, including Japanese singer Rina Chikano, are expected to stay in Hokkaido through Saturday.