Tokyo's bid committee for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games appointed Fujiko F. Fujio's famous robot cat Doraemon as a special ambassador. The character will appear at promotional events, host the committee's official Facebook page, and chat online with visitors. The committee member said that they chose Doraemon due to his worldwide popularity, as well as his representation of the Japanese values of "respect" and "friendship."
Masato Mizuno, Tokyo 2020 CEO and Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Vice President, said: “The global popularity of Japanese anime as represented by Doraemon is a powerful reminder of Japan's ability to inspire young people. It also adds further credibility to our promise to deliver a dynamic celebration that strengthens Olympic Values and encourages young people to pursue their dreams through sport. We are delighted to have our resourceful friend Doraemon on our Bid team.”
The character was previously elected as Japan's first anime ambassador in 2008 by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The robotic cat has starred in well over 2,000 anime episodes since his premiere in 1973. Doraemon: Nobita no Himitsu Dōgu Museum, the 33rd film in the long-running anime franchise, opened last month.
The Olympics were last held in Japan in 1964, the first Olympics to ever be held in Asia. Goro Miyazaki's From Up On Poppy Hill film, currently playing in North American theaters, takes place during preparation for the '64 Olympic Games.
Source: The Mainichi, Jiji Press