The hometown of feudal era ninja in central Japan says it is not recruiting new ninja performers, as was implied by a foreign program posted on the Internet.
The city office of Iga, in Mie Prefecture, says it and the tourist association have received 115 inquiries from people in 14 countries, including the United States and Spain, about job openings for ninja performers.
City officials say the emails started coming in after a US radio station broadcast a report last week saying Iga is facing a shortage of ninja performers. The report said such employees can earn up to 85,000 dollars a year.
The officials say Mayor Sakae Okamoto explained the city's ninja-focused tourism promotion projects during an interview with US media on July 5th.
In a notice posted on its website in 5 languages, including English, Spanish and Chinese, the city says it never gave out any information about a "lack of ninja" or their "yearly income," as reported on Internet news sites.
The city is warning people to "be careful of fake news."
Mayor Okamoto said he was surprised that the mere mention of ninja could have such a strong impact on people.