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Monday, May 19, 2008

Hello Kitty is Japan's good will torism ambassador

Well, I used to see this cute cat’s face on pencil boxes but little did I know that Hello Kitty is a famous Japanese cartoon character. It is immensely popular among little girls and women in Japan, Hong Kong and China. Hello Kitty has been chosen as goodwill tourism ambassador to promote Japan’s tourism. This famous moon faced cartoon character was created by Sanrio in 1974. It first appeared on a plastic coin purse. Since then, Hello Kitty has charmed every one. Currently, its face is engraved on 50,000 products that are sold in 60 countries. Fashion icon, pop culture icon, business phenomenon and now another feather of success on Hello Kitty’s crown; the good will ambassador of Japan. On 19th May, the Tourism Ministry of Japan declared Hello Kitty as its goodwill tourism ambassador for China, and Hong Kong. AP reports:

Last year the number of foreign tourists traveling to Japan hit a record high of 8.35 million, up 60 percent since the government began the marketing effort in 2003.

Arrivals from China and Hong Kong, who accounted for 16.5 percent of visitors to Japan last year, are poised this year to become the second-largest group of tourists after South Koreans.

At a press conference, Sanrio Co. President Shintaro Tsuji called Hello Kitty's new appointment "an honor" and pledged to "work hard to attract many visitors."

Japan's other goodwill tourism ambassadors include Korean singer Younha, Japanese actress Yoshino Kimura and Japanese pop/rock duo Puffy AmiYumi.

Although this is the first time the tourism ministry has tapped a fictional character for the role, the foreign ministry in March inaugurated blue robo-cat Doraemon as Japan's "anime ambassador."

Hello Kitty was born on November 1st. She lives in London with her parents and twin sister Mimmy. They have lots of friends at school. Hello Kitty loves listening to music, travelling, and most of all making new friends. If Hello Kitty is your favorite character and you want to know more about her, you can visit the Sanrio official website.

Related articles:

AP

AFP

1 comments:

Elrena said...

That is so funny! I would never think of having a cartoon character as an ambassador.