The globally popular cartoon character, Hello Kitty, has a new job: tour guide for visitors to Japan. In the wake of last year's devastating earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan, Tokyo-based Japan Tourism Agency has collaborated with Sanrio, creator of Hello Kitty, to develop a special iPhone app called "Visit Japan with Hello Kitty."
Nori Akashi, public relations manager for the Japan National Tourist Organization in New York, said the Japan Tourism Agency had developed the app-its first-because "Hello Kitty is an icon, like Japan tourism.
"Hello Kitty has a strong association with Japan; it's globally known and eye-catching," she said.
Downloadable for free through March 31, 2013, from Apple's App Store, the app features 53 Hello Kitty characters dressed in special costumes appropriate for each of Japan's 47 prefectures; Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka and Kyoto feature multiple characters.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )