Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has officially appointed Hello Kitty and Pokémon’s Pikachu to advertise Osaka as the perfect city to host the 2025 World Expo. In a tweet, Taro announced the appointment accompanied with photos.
As the foreign minister handed appointment letters to the two characters, he said “I would like for you to represent Japan and proactively (promote) the attraction of Osaka inside and outside of the country,”
This is not the first time Hello Kitty has been awarded an honour typically reserved for an actual human. Hello Kitty was declared the Japanese Ambassador for Tourism in China and Hong Kong. In 2004, Hello Kitty was dubbed a “UNICEF Special Friend of Children” after she raised $150,000 for female education programs funded by UNICEF.
Last year, Pokémon GO was released and experienced a brief surge in popularity, and this year saw the release of Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!
The characters will be used for pamphlets and gifts to promote the city’s bid as it competes against Saclay in the suburbs of Paris, the central Russian city of Yekaterinburg and the Azerbaijan capital Baku.
‘I would like for you to represent Japan and proactively (promote) the attraction of Osaka inside and outside of the country,’ Kono told the characters.