Visiting Japanese actress Haruna Kawaguchi was named Taiwan's latest goodwill ambassador Tuesday to attract more tourists from Japan after COVID travel curbs were lifted, according to the island's Tourism Bureau.
Commending the food in Taiwan and the friendliness and kindness of the Taiwanese people, Kawaguchi said at a press conference in Taipei she is "very happy and honored" to be the island's tourism ambassador to promote its charms to Japanese people. She was on her second visit to the island.
With entry restrictions lifted and tourists back in Taiwan after more than two and a half years of border controls, the Tourism Bureau's Deputy Director General Trust H.J. Lin said Kawaguchi will work on an approximate five-day video shoot in Taiwan for the Japanese market.
"While in Taiwan, I hope she tries all the food she wants to eat, sees beautiful sights and scenery, and is involved in the activities she likes, so she can send to Japan through video footage the emotions she experienced," Lin said.
The actress will promote Taiwan in commercials to be aired in Japan from July, according to the bureau.
In 2019, over 2.16 million trips were made by Japanese visitors to Taiwan. Between January and April this year, about 1.63 million trips in total have been made by international visitors to the island, with South Korea and Japan being the top two sources of overseas tourists, data from the bureau showed.
Kawaguchi is known for starring in Japanese TV drama "Ouran High School Host Club" and horror film "P.O.V. - A Cursed Film." Past goodwill ambassadors to promote tourism in Taiwan include Japanese actress Masami Nagasawa and Taiwanese model and actress Lin Chi-ling.