Pokémon's Pikachu is now a cultural ambassador for Osaka
There's a new diplomat in office for Osaka, Japan, and its name is Pikachu. The iconic Pokémon mascot is representing the city in preparation for the 2025 World Expo, a five-year event that does not yet have a host city for 2025.
Pikachu and Hello Kitty were both given the honor on Tuesday, when Japanese Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno handed out the positions during an official ceremony. Although Pikachu and Hello Kitty are both fictional characters, their likeness will be used to promote Osaka on pamphlets and gifts, helping raise awareness and support for the city in preparation for the 2025 vote.
"I would like for you to represent Japan and proactively [promote] the attraction of Osaka inside and outside of the country," Kōno said as he appointed both characters to the position, the Japan Times reports.
Of course, Pokémon fans are pretty excited by Pikachu's new job, with many hoping that Pikachu eventually becomes Japan's prime minister (or, alternatively, the U.S.'s new president).
Osaka, which trails behind Tokyo and Yokohama as one of the largest cities in Japan, will also have Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka and soccer player Keisuke Honda on hand to help promote the city for the 2025 World Expo. Those appointments will most likely come in the near future, too, as the Bureau International des Expositions will cast bids on the 2025 expo's host city next November.
Previously, Osaka hosted the World Expo in 1970, with the upcoming 2020 World Expo held in Dubai. Expect to see plenty more of Osaka's latest cultural ambassador as 2017 gives way to 2018.