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weirdly, this is old news

Japan appoints cartoon ambassador:

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura appointed the cat an "anime ambassador," handing a human-sized Doraemon doll an official certificate at an inauguration ceremony, along with dozens of "dorayaki" red bean pancakes — his favorite dessert — piled on a huge plate.

...

"Doraemon, I hope you will travel around the world as an anime ambassador to deepen people's understanding of Japan so they will become friends with Japan," Komura told the blue-and-white cat.

The appointment is part of Japan's recent effort to harness the power of pop culture in diplomacy. Japan also created an International Manga Award last year under comic enthusiast former Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who likened it to a Nobel Prize for an artist working abroad.

No word yet if Hello Kitty has been caught yet for industrial espionage.

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