Back in Japan, Mr Jackie Kim, an economics undergraduate at the University of Tokyo, had always been intrigued by Singapore.
So it comes as no surprise that the 22-year-old, currently an exchange student at the National University of Singapore, decided to film a video with three fellow Japanese exchange students to promote Singapore to the world.
The video, posted on YouTube, features more than 170 Singaporeans and tourists taking turns to dance at various tourist spots like Little India, the Sultan Mosque and the Singapore Flyer.
They pranced to the upbeat song Koi Suru Fortune Cookie by AKB48, a popular girl group in Japan, which went viral in Japan and spawned many parody dance covers all over the world.
"Many Japanese tourists only know about Singapore's chicken rice, the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands and nothing else," said Mr Kim. "We wanted to show the world that there are a lot more places and food one can visit and enjoy in Singapore."
Apart from the usual tourist spots, the video, which lasts three minutes and eight seconds, also features several hawkers dancing in front of their food stalls, like The Roti Prata House at Upper Thomson Road and Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow stall at Old Airport Road Food Centre.
The team trawled online travel websites and asked their Singaporean friends for interesting places to feature. They also had to learn the dance themselves to teach members of the public the moves. The self-funded video took more than two weeks to film, as approval had to be sought for filming at certain locations. "We are thankful that the management at these places agreed to our requests at such short notice," said Mr Kim.
"Some, like the Singapore Zoo, even advised us regarding possible filming locations." The biggest challenge was finding people who were willing to dance on camera.
"Over 95 per cent of the people we approached said 'no'," said team member Yuya Takeuchi. "Many were too busy to stop and learn the dance."
Luckily for the team, they received help from local AKB48 fans like student Mahaabhir Rashid, 18, who said he helped because he "thought it will be fun to meet other people and dance together". "It was a little embarrassing at first - dancing on the beach," he said of his segment.
"But it was worthwhile because we enjoyed ourselves."
The video has been on YouTube for a week and has received more than 41,000 views. A Facebook page has also been set up for the video.
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