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April 28, 2005

Packun Sells Fukui

Comedian Patrick Harlan (34), better known as Packun of the manzai duo Packun Mackun, has been appointed as a "Fukui Brand Ambassador." Prefectural governor Nishikawa Issei met Harlan in Tokyo on Tuesday to formally register him as a "salesman" for the prefecture. Since the PR campaign was launched last May, some 1,200 Fukui residents have registered. The Colorado native and Harvard University graduate said, "Fukui is like my second home. I hope to be able to do a good PR job." Harlan was encouraged to come to Japan and become an English conversation teacher in Fukui city in 1993 by a friend who was working as an ALT at a local high school. He spent two and a half years in the city. Among his recent television appearances, he is a regular presenter of the late-night "Eigo de Shaberanaito" show on NHK. At Tuesday's PR event, Nishikawa used some unique English to describe his domain: "Not the small, not the big, just right size." (photo copyright Chunichi Shimbun)

On a somewhat related note, an NHK employee who works on the "Eigo de Shaberanaito" show was arrested on Tuesday for sexually assaulting a high school girl on a train in Kanagawa Prefecture.

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