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Okinawa to name honorary ambassadors to boost image

Date Posted: 2003-01-31

Okinawa Prefecture has unveiled a plan to name prominent overseas Okinawans or their descendants as honorary ambassadors who would then promote the prefecture in their respective countries. The hope is that the new ambassadors would be effective in promoting tourism, as well as Okinawan culture and products. Prefecture officials say the overseas Okinawans already have human networks and connections to do so. The plan calls for naming some 50 persons, each for a five-year term. The positions are strictly honorary, and no salaries will be paid. To help the new ambassadors promote Okinawa, the Prefecture Public Affairs Office would provide free samples of Okinawan made products, pamphlets and other goods. Other Japanese prefectures are already utilizing the system, with some having more than 1,000 ambassadors representing them, reportedly with good results.

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