Students offer new perspectives on Hong Kong

The Yomiuri ShimbunSatomi Honda of Mukogawa Women’s University delivered a positive, energetic performance at the Hong Kong Cup All Japan University Student Ambassadors English Program held in Tokyo last month with her presentation “Satomi’s Neighboring Show.”

Wearing a red bow tie, Honda began her presentation, saying: “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to Satomi’s Neighboring Show. I am Satomi, your secret tour guide for this special show today.”

Honda, a third-year student, won first place in the annual presentation contest, which is held to promote a better understanding of Hong Kong among young people in Japan. The top winners become “student ambassadors” each year and are invited on a two-week trip to Hong Kong. This year, the participants were required to present their ideas using visual aids, such as PowerPoint slides, on one of four designated themes: business, mascot, studying abroad and tourism.

The outline for the tourism theme, which Honda selected, was: “You are the producer of a 30-minute TV (or online video) travel program about Hong Kong. Please come up with a unique idea to introduce the charms of Hong Kong.”

In her presentation, Honda explained to the audience that many of Hong Kong’s top 10 tourism sites, such as Victoria Peak, have not changed for many years. She invited the judges and audience to “join me in discovering the real fascination of Hong Kong.”

She introduced one area called Sai Ying Pun near Victoria Peak. Honda exhibited photos of traditional handcrafted steamers sold locally and of a market in the area that sells fresh fish and vegetables. She also highlighted a nearby “photogenic” restaurant that was ideal for taking photos to be posted on Instagram and other social media.

A tour of the area only takes about three hours, which Honda guaranteed would be an “unforgettable” experience.

She added that about 7 million people visit Victoria Peak annually and calculated that if 20 percent of visitors dropped by Sai Ying Pun, the area would gain an additional 1.4 million visitors each year.

“With these neighboring tours, there will be more attractions for visitors, more tourists coming to Hong Kong, and more profits brought down to each area,” Honda said.

After receiving the top prize, Honda, who has never been to Hong Kong, said, “I really look forward to visiting Hong Kong and bringing back its beauty and sharing it with many Japanese people.”

Keio University senior Masaomi Murakami won the first runner-up prize with his presentation titled, “Drop-in Futsal in Hong Kong.” He selected the business theme, which had the outline, “Pick one Japanese product [or type of Japanese cuisine] that has yet to be introduced or become popular in Hong Kong, and develop a business plan to sell it in Hong Kong.”

Murakami based his presentation on his travels around Southeast Asia, during which he played drop-in futsal in Cambodia and Thailand. He enjoyed competing and communicating with locals, saying he had a “great experience.” He later learned that the futsal courts were managed by Japanese companies.

According to Murakami’s research, futsal’s popularity is increasing in Hong Kong. He noted, “Futsal is suitable for Hong Kong,” as Hong Kong is known for its dense urban areas. The sport can be played in tight spaces such as building rooftops or under highways.

Murakami emphasized that sports have great potential to bring many benefits, adding, “I’m sure if my idea comes true, drop-in futsal and futsal court businesses could make people’s lives in Hong Kong better.”

Honoka Nishio, a Sophia University sophomore, placed third. Nishio’s presentation was titled “The Harbor Where Sunrise Meets the Fragrant.” She proposed producing an omnibus drama that overviews a day in the life of Hong Kongers, with a focus on people, places, tradition, food and history. She proposed uploading the video to YouTube.

Kwansei Gakuin University freshman Nanako Tatsumi won the Fighting Spirit Prize for her presentation titled, “Unusual Hong Kong — Cultural Travel with Local Artists.” The prize honors the finalist who has lived overseas for less than a year and gave an outstanding performance.

The final round of the contest was held on Jan. 21, with 15 university students selected from among 137 participants nationwide. Other available outlines included “How would you promote studying abroad in Hong Kong at your university?” for the study abroad theme and “Design a mascot to help promote friendship and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Japan” for the mascot theme.Speech

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