Clearly, this modern country has just so many tourist sites which the Japan Tourist board can promote.
Then, talk about Japanese food - there is the all time favourite raw fish of sashimi & sushi. Or their culture of the beautiful traditional dress of kimono. Really, Japan has so much to offer!
And with so much to offer, it's only right to share it with the world. Now under the Visit Japan campaign, they are hoping to achieve 10 million tourists to the beautiful country. To help bring the tourist numbers in, they are looking forward to ambassadors. They already have Korean singer Younha, Japanese actress Yoshino Kimura and Japanese pop/rock (J-pop) duo Puffy AmiYumi.
So Who's Next?
First up, there's Japan's J-pop queen, Ayumi Hamasaki - she's hot, she's popular & have a huge following even outside Japan.
Or how about the popular First Love singer? With her best selling first album holding the record of best sales per album in the country, for sure she is considered:
Enough Of J Pop
But no, they are not looking for another pop-ster to grace & welcome tourists to their country.
Instead, they are looking of another segment that Japan is popular of - its Japanese cartoon or known as animation.
Yes, there is the big head, big eyes cartoon characters of Manga. Or a more real Final Fantasy where every detail is outlined? But these were not in the board's mind as well.
How about a popular one - one that has gone Hollywood?
Yes, think Transformers - this robot machine which can change into vehicels? They can showcase a modern Japan - known for its modernisation, an economic marvel many other countries just awe. But despite the Hollywood fame with a movie in 2007, it's still a no.
Something more simple
No, they want something more simple - something people can relate too. Then, Doraemon should be a good one - this magical robot cat is just like a genie and makes nearly every wish come true for buddy Nobita & gang. Everyone should be able to relate to this blue cat with a magic pouch in the front. They can have a tagline 'Come to Japan - where dreams come true' (cliche I know). But put Doraemon beside it, and it may just make wonders!
But again, blue cat or not, is not what they want. You mean there's even skin colour difference in Japan?
No, all these are just way too complicated for a simple image Japan wants to portray. It needs something more 'lovable' & not crazy like Doraemon, stiff as Transformers, as real human like as Final Fantasy or any other big headed mangas.
They want something with 'more excitement' - one that likes modern Japan - its shopping, loves its fashion, and its sashimi... yet at the same time have some traditional values. It can't be too sexy - no Ayumi. It has to be real, yet unreal...
So who was chosen?
Who do you think Japan is making it greet its 10 million tourists?
And to be splashed in posters worldwide?
Clue: It's a cartoon character (ok, you already know that).
2nd Clue: It's not human (ok, you know that too).
I can't give anymore clues actually, cos it's really simple. Ok, here's one: it likes Mcdonald's! (or has an affiliate with McD) - and it's a cat.
This really is a giveaway clue.
Yes, it's a cat
Some of you by now will know who I'm talking about. The ladies/ girls especially. Yes, Japan is inviting you... with a far more famous icon:
For the guys, well, let's just get past that Kitty Kat and enjoy real Japan (do remember to bow when you see the cat though!) :)
Learn More On Japan: Japan National Tourist Organisation
Hello Kitty's The New Ambassador
*For the record, Doraemon is Japan's Anime Ambassador.