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Kumamon Mascot Character Is Coming To America

posted on 2014-05-24 17:00 EDT by Chris Nishijima
Japan's #1 prefectural mascot takes on the world!

After years of acting as a popular icon nationwide in Japan, the Kumamoto Prefecture's bear mascot Kumamon is finally making his international debut! Earlier this week, Kumamon's PR department announced that starting in June 2014 they would be lifting the ban on international sales of Kumamon goods. Those in charge of development of this project hope to form a link between the international expansion of sales and the PR department of Kumamoto Prefecture.

Kumamon was previously undergoing official licensing procedures in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, America, and the European Union. In order to make sure that no Kumamon knock-offs get put on the market, the first phase of this international expansion will exclude department stores throughout Hong Kong.

Kumamon was originally created in 2010 for "Kumamoto Surprise," a campaign designed to promote tourist activity through the newly opened Kyushu Shinkansen line. In 2011, Kumamon was voted the most popular mascot in Japan, garnering over 280,000 votes. In total, Kumamon merchandise in Japan has helped Kumamoto Prefecture make more than 123.2 billion yen (about US $1.2 billion).

Official international sales of Kumamon products will begin on June 9. You can find out more about Kumamon and keep an eye out for official announcements for his appearance abroad by going to his official website.

Thanks to GokuMew2 for the tip!

Source: Yahoo Japan

Update: Typos fixed. Thanks, Arthur and AkihabaraNews.com.


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