Rilakkuma named Saitama Police Traffic Safety Public Relations Ambassador

Japan has a reputation for accepting things that may seem a bit strange on the outside. But what’s weird elsewhere may be the complete norm here, and that’s why no one even batted an eyelid when San-X’s lovable fictional character Rilakkuma was cast as San-X’s Road Safety PR Ambassador. Saitama Prefectural Police.

Rilakkuma’s commissioning in the role is part of the “National Road Safety Campaign at Reiwa Fall 3”, which was implemented from September 21.

As part of his role, we can expect to see Rilakkuma promoting road safety through posters, videos and media posts on popular social networks such as Twitter and Instagram.

It wouldn’t be the first time a kawaii mascot or character has been placed in a position of prominence, with Pokemon’s Slowpoke having already been named the official prefectural governor of Kagawa Prefecture on April Fool’s Day in 2018 – albeit more recently. , the Pokémon character has taken on roles more closely tied to its origins. Another good example is Pokemon’s Lapras, which has been named the official tourism ambassador of Miyagi Prefecture.

While similar, these examples (including Rilakkuma’s new role as Saitama Prefectural Police Traffic Safety Public Relations Ambassador) differ from Japan’s use of Yuru Kyara in that these characters exist already. You can probably easily name a few of Japan’s Yuru Kyara; Some of the most famous include Kumamon from Kumamoto Prefecture, Domo-kun from NHK, and Melon Kuma from Hokkaido.

As Rilakkuma settles into his new role as the Saitama Prefectural Police Traffic Safety Public Relations Ambassador, and with so many other cute characters getting government jobs, we can’t help but wonder. ask if/or when Japan plans to elect a mascot as Prime Minister one day. . After all, would it be so strange?

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