You could make a long list about all the ways Japan is uniquely awesome, but it’s not like every aspect of life in Japan is more enjoyable than in other countries. For example, taking care of paperwork at city hall or other government facilities is as boring as it is anywhere else in the world.
So why is it that last week people have been voluntarily visiting the Shinjuku Ward office in the heart of Tokyo? Because they want to get a copy of the official residency document of the district’s newest resident, Godzilla!
It’s actually been a couple of months since the King of the Monsters moved into the neighborhood. In April, the Toho Cinemas Kabukicho/Hotel Gracery Shinjuku entertainment complex opened up, and the architectural highlight is the full-scale Godzilla head protruding from the theater’s rooftop terrace.
Being a busy part of a busy city, you have to expect at least a little bit of a paperwork backlog from Shinjuku’s civil servants. As of May 25, though, the cinematic icon is officially a resident of Shinjuku Ward, and to celebrate, the powers that be have even drawn up a special residency document listing the star’s name, date of birth, address, and other particulars.
The document reads:
Name: Godzilla Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho, 1-19-1 Date of birth: April 9, 1954 [the year of the release of the very first Godzilla film] Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015 Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku Toho Building. Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; "Godzilla" (1984), "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" (1991), "Godzilla 2000 Millennium" (1999)
Ordinarily, copies of residency documents are only issued to the individual named on the paper or to his or her authorized legal proxy. However, Shinjuku is relaxing the regulations in this case, and has issued 3,000 copies of Godzilla’s paperwork, with 500 allotted to the main ward office (located only a few minutes’ walk from the life-size Godzilla head) and 250 each to 10 other distribution points throughout the ward. These are being given out on a first-come, first-served basis to fans, and while this should technically be a grievous breach of privacy, it seems like Godzilla has magnanimously waived his legal rights to press charges against, step on the house of, or annihilate offenders with his atomic fire breath.
Source: Shinjuku Keizai Shimbun
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