Tupelo's Convention and Visitors Bureau issued the invitation to Koizumi, who like many people in Japan, is a big fan of the late rock 'n' roll star. Tourism officials in Tupelo are now awaiting word on whether Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit Elvis Presley's birthplace. Koizumi is scheduled to tour the rock legend's Graceland estate in Memphis.
Tourism officials said the proposed visit to the northeast Mississippi city would follow Koizumi's June 30th trip to Memphis with President Bush. Mississippi officials say an appearance by the Japanese prime minister would be a big boost for international tourism promotion in Tupelo.
The Elvis Presley Fan Club in Japan claims to be the largest in Asia with a five-thousand-strong membership. Another two-thousand people or so belong to the recently formed Elvis Presley Society in Japan.
Presley was born in Tupelo but moved with his parents in 1948 to Memphis, Tennessee, where he later began his recording career. Presley died in Memphis on August 16th, 1977.
Source: Various / Updated: Jun 24, 2006