Beloved video game character, '90s anime icon, and official ambassador to the Japanese government: Pikachu can now include all three titles on his resume. As Konbini reports, Japanese foreign minister Tarō Kōno has appointed the Pokemon mascot as an ambassador to promote Osaka’s bid to be the host city for World Expo 2025.
As ambassador, the electrifying character is now responsible for boosting the city’s profile among member states of the Bureau International des Expositions. Every few years, the organization meets to select a world city to host the upcoming World Expo. The World Expo is an event aimed at “educating the public, sharing innovation, promoting progress, and fostering cooperation” among international communities, according to the bureau’s website. The members will choose between cities in Japan, France, Russia, and Azerbaijan to host the next one when the committee convenes in November 2018.
Tarō Kōno posted the announcement on Twitter accompanied by pictures from the swearing-in ceremony. Along with Pikachu, Hello Kitty was also named an ambassador for the project. The cartoon cat has plenty of experience in the role, serving as a UNICEF ambassador to both Japan and the United States and Japan’s official ambassador of tourism to Hong Kong and China. Pikachu and Hello Kitty join the likes of Godzilla, Mr. Potato Head, and Dora the Explorer on the list of fictional foreign ambassadors.