Ultraman and Merlion are joining hands to make Singapore stick in consumers' minds in a new virtual campaign by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in Japan.
The big number: 55 years
The iconic Japanese superhero is celebrating its 55th anniversary in 2021.
Also, both countries are marking 55 years of diplomatic relations this year.
STB Japan public relations manager Akiko Yoshida said the joint milestone makes Ultraman a befitting ambassador.
This was revealed at an online news conference on June 1.
Ultraman an Ambassador of Light
Ultraman will appear in the ongoing SingapoReimagine campaign in key tourism visuals, short films and travel merchandise, STB and production house Tsuburaya said.
The tie-up will last 1.5 years.
Tsuburaya said in a statement that Ultraman will feature "as the Ambassador of Light to connect the 55th anniversary of Singapore-Japanese relations with the anniversary of Ultraman's first appearance on Earth 55 years ago".
STB launched the SingapoReimagine campaign in 2020 to crystalise what the future of tourism will be like after Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
SJ55 logo unveiled
STB unveiled the SJ55 logo on June 1.
It features the Merlion and cherry blossoms in origami style.
Slate of initiatives
A slate of initiatives that have been, or will be, rolled out in Japan this year was also announced.
Singapore films Homerun (2003) and 881 (2007) can be viewed on Netflix in Japan since March 2021 under a two-year deal.
Since April, ready-to-eat chicken rice meals have been sold at Royal Deli, the take-home arm of family restaurant chain Royal Host.
That same month, Singapore's skyline was added as a backdrop in the smartphone game D4DJ Groovy Mix.
Travel agency JTB will be launching even more virtual tours and a recorded performance of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra will be streamed for Japanese audiences later in June.
From August, Japanese emcee and voice-over artist Reiko Yokoi and singer-songwriter Sachiyo, who are living in Singapore, will appear in short YouTube snippets that introduce Singapore's heritage and culture to Japanese audiences.
Supermarket chain Seijo Ishii is already selling bento meals of Singapore food at its 185 outlets nationwide.
These items include soya sauce chicken noodles, beehoon goreng and laksa, which were developed through on-site visits to hawker centres in Singapore.
Singapore in Japanese pop culture
Images of Singapore have populated Japanese pop culture for years now.
Singapore formed the backdrop of anime Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire (2019), romance drama Tapestry (2020), and crime comedy The Confidence Man JP: Episode of the Princess (2020).
Top photo via Tsuburaya Production