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December 30, 2014
For immediate release
Prince Edward Island to be featured in Japanese holiday special
Tourism and Culture
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK will feature Prince Edward Island images and scenery during its annual New Year’s Eve special which is viewed by tens of millions of people, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson.
“The annual New Year’s Eve special is among the most popular programs of any kind on Japanese television,” said Minister Henderson. “We raised this idea during discussions with NHK and we are happy to see they are moving ahead with it. The segment will give the people of Japan another great reminder of our province’s beauty and its association with Anne of Green Gables. It will undoubtedly help bring more visitors to our province from that part of the world.”
Earlier this year NHK produced and aired Hanako and Anne, a hugely popular biographical series about Hanako Muraoka, the woman who translated Anne of Green Gables to Japanese. Prince Edward Island scenery was featured throughout each episode. The series coincided with an impressive increase in Japanese visitors to the Island this year with more than double the 2013 total. This year also saw the first ever charter from Japan to the Island.
The actress who played Hanako in the series, Yuriko Yoshitaka, is hosting the New Year’s Eve special. During the segment in question, the popular Japanese singer Ayaka will perform the theme song from Hanako and Anne against the backdrop of beautiful scenery from all over Prince Edward Island.
“Japan is our second largest international market and the department has worked very hard to take advantage of all the free publicity we’ve had this year to build better name recognition as a popular vacation destination,” said Minister Henderson. “Our goal is to maintain the momentum we’ve seen from Japan this year and continue to build connections with tour operators.”