• Kyodo

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The city of Anshan in northeast China has named Japanese actress Ryoko Nakano as its tourism image envoy, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.

Chinese tourism officials hope that Nakano, who is hugely popular in China and other Asian countries, will help increase recognition of Anshan and boost its image as a tourist destination among overseas travelers, the agency said Thursday.

The Xinhua report indicates that Chinese authorities intend to promote cultural exchanges and tourism with Japan even though Beijing has canceled a series of high-level visits, including that of Li Peng, chairman of the National People’s Congress, to Japan in protest over the visit of former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui to Japan earlier this week, observers said.

Nakano, who has appeared in numerous movies and TV dramas, has become known among Chinese fans since two of her movies, “Cross the Angry River” and “Mrs. Gin,” were shown in China in the late 1970s.

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