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Fukuyama promotes Taiwan travel at Tokyo concert

TAIPEI--Japanese singer-songwriter Masaharu Fukuyama was set to hold a major concert in Tokyo Saturday evening with a very special guest act: an ad promoting travel to Taiwan.

The 15-second short film shows Fukuyama traveling through time to a secluded street in Taiwan, where a scene of elderly tea drinkers illustrates the close cultural and historic relations between the two countries before inviting viewers to make “Time for Taiwan.”

It was created by Japanese commercial director Miyami Komatsu and Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee, said Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, which produced the short film.

Through the high-profile ad, the bureau hopes to reawaken interest among Japanese travelers amid a drop in Taiwan's former main source of visitors over the course of last year.

The number of Japanese tourists in 2013 fell 0.8 percent year-on-year to 1.42 million due to a depreciating yen, leaving arrivals from Japan ahead of Hong Kong and Macau's combined total of 1.18 million but far behind China's 2.87 million.

The Tokyo concert, which is expected to bring 55,000 fans, is the first in Fukuyama's “We're Bros. Tour 2014.” The 45-year-old singer's concerts will include 14 concerts around Japan and a show at Taipei Arena on June 7.

Fukuyama is the first male Japanese performer to sing for 10 consecutive days at the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Center, a major venue in the Tokyo area, where he drew record attendance of 180,000. He also holds the record for the highest number of top-selling EPs of any male singer in Japan.

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Japanese singer-songwriter Masaharu Fukuyama walks in a street in Taiwan in this undated photo grabbed from a 15-second short film promoting travel to Taiwan. (CNA)

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