Japan Today

Doraemon named 'anime ambassador'


TOKYO -- The foreign ministry announced Friday it was appointing the cartoon cat Doraemon as the nation's first "anime ambassador," in Japan's latest effort to promote its soft power through its animation industry.

Doraemon -- or at least a person dressed as the earless, blue-and-white cat -- will receive his official assignment letter from Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura in a ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, officials said.

The character will appear in films to be shown in Japanese missions overseas, talking about the country's lifestyle and customs.

"By appointing Doraemon, we hope people in other countries will understand Japanese anime better and deepen their interest in Japanese culture," said Yuko Hotta, a foreign ministry official.

Doraemon is the main character in an animation series that is among the most popular in Japan and widely known in much of Asia. The friendly cat travels back to the present from the 22nd century to help out a schoolboy by lending an "anywhere door," which allows people to travel wherever they please.

The government has been trying to turn growing worldwide interest in its anime cartoons, manga comics and cuisine into political capital with a campaign promoting "Cool Japan."

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I think this is an excellent idea. Anime has done a lot in the U.S.A. to present Japanese culture to many folks who wouldn't think twice about another countries culture.

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I think it's very good to make Draemon as the nation's first '"anime ambassador " to convey Japanese culture, daiary life and customs, because Doraemor depicts the daily lives of Japanese people. For example, there are meals, life in elementary school, parent-child relationships, and play with friends, and also it depicts the scenery of residential areas and schools in Japan. Draemon is widely known not only in Japan but also in Asia and many countries, so I think many people will be familiar with Japanese culture, daily life, and customs.The Japanese government should use this kind of Japanese pop culture to revitalize politics.

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