The Kaohsiung City Government on Saturday tweeted an invitation to Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to visit the city, after Noguchi on Friday shared on Twitter a photograph of Taiwan taken from space.
The photo was of the southern half of Taiwan proper, taken from the International Space Station.
Noguchi had previously posted on Twitter nighttime photos of Kaohsiung and Tainan, also taken from the International Space Station, which received likes from more than 19,000 people.
Photo: Screen grab from Twitter
In its tweet, which was written in Japanese, the city government thanked Noguchi for “so beautifully capturing Taiwan” in his photo.
The post included pictures from different locations in Kaohsiung, and said that Noguchi should visit once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and others in the city government sincerely awaited Noguchi’s visit, the post said.
On Sunday, Noguchi responded, writing “thank you very much” in Japanese and Chinese.
In Chinese, Noguchi wrote the characters for “duo xie” (多謝), which is the most common way of saying “thank you” in Hoklo — also known as Taiwanese — the language spoken most widely in southern Taiwan.
Chen replied to Noguchi’s tweet, also writing “duo xie.”
Upon hearing of the exchange, Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director Tung Chien-hung (董建宏) said that Twitter has come to play an important role in the city’s diplomacy, as well as in promoting tourism there.
In 2017, Lonely Planet listed Kaohsiung as one of the top 10 city destinations for backpackers, after its Hong Kong-based travel writer gathered information about the city through the bureau’s official Twitter account, he said.
In 2018, Lonely Planet also wrote on Twitter that the city was “#Taiwan’s blossoming cultural city.”
“Twitter has more than 310 million users worldwide, and Kaohsiung has been using the platform to promote the city since 2015,” Tung said.
The bureau primarily uses English and Japanese on Twitter, but has also begun using other languages, including Thai and Vietnamese, he said.
“We have already posted more than 1,400 tweets, and have more than 62,000 followers. We have also received verification from Twitter,” he added.
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