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Kumamoto Prefecture Starts Production on 'Kumamon' Bear Mascot's TV Anime

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Local government also allows foreign businesses to use mascot for promotion

Kumamoto Prefecture governor Ikuo Kabashima announced in a press conference on Thursday that the Kumamoto Prefectural Government will allow foreign businesses to use the prefecture's Kumamon mascot character, except for businesses related to forestry, agriculture, and marine products. The governor also stated that the prefectural government is launching production on an anime centering on the character, with tentative worldwide broadcast plans in 2019.

Advertising agency Asatsu-DK Inc. is collaborating with the prefecture to handle the approval of applications for use of the character, as well as managing the trademark and responding to improper usage of the character. It will be part of the production committee for the upcoming anime alongside Yoshimoto Kōgyō.

The Kumamoto Prefectural Government had previously only allowed the character to be used by businesses in Japan, but the prefectural government expects that the use of the character worldwide will result in increased tourism in Kumamoto, which had fallen since the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Foreign businesses that use the character will be required to pay 5-7% in royalties from sales of products using the character, but foreign businesses involved in the economy of Kumamoto will only have to pay 3-5% in royalties.

Source: NHK, Nikkei, The Mainichi Shimbun via Otakomu

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