Mola Lenghi, Arlington Reporter
"Tweetalongs" done by Arlington police officers are catching the attention of the Japanese media.
A Japanese media team visited Arlington to shadow officers on a "tweet along" on Monday.
One of Japan's favorite sons calls Arlington jitako, Japanese for "home," which has raised interest in all things Arlington.
NHK, Japan's national public broadcaster, was interested in how the Arlington Police Department uses Twitter to distribute information. In addition to regular tweeting, Arlington police also hold "tweet-alongs," a ride-along over Twitter.
"They've never heard of anything or seen anything like it, and so what we first thought they were trying to do was to kind of follow us on Twitter, so I tried to sign them up to follow us," Sgt. Christopher Cook said. "They said, 'No, you don't understand. We want to actually fly out to Arlington and ride out with you guys.'"
"This is very interesting," said Nakashima Noboru, NHK's Los Angeles bureau chief for NHK. "People can know what the police is doing usually, so that's a very interesting [thing], I thought, for the Japanese audience to know."
An audience that includes Japanese police.
"I want Japanese police to do the Twitter and Facebook," Noboru said. "Of course, they're doing it some, but not like Arlington."
The Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau said first-time Japanese visitors to Arlington's website are up 182 percent.
"With [Rangers pitcher] Yu Darvish, it's really come out of nowhere," said Jay Burress, CVD president and CEO. "It's really amazing to see what's happening, from our website interest to our interest at international trade shows where we were never even on the map before."
Japanese media regularly floods the city, as well as tourists who plan visits around a Darvish start. Burress said local hotels are seeing an increase in occupancy rates.