Godzilla has officially been recognized as a citizen and named as the tourism ambassador of Japan.
Japan just appointed Godzilla, a monster that has been terrorizing peaceful city-dwelling citizens for decades, as its official tourism ambassador. The biped monster, which looks like the result of a gorilla and a whale’s ugly one-night stand, will represent the country on the international stage.
To ensure the monster doesn’t actually attend any meetings pertaining to delicate international diplomatic talks, Godzilla’s ambassadorship is merely a symbolic role as a “tourism ambassador.” It does not come with any official diplomatic responsibilities. It isn’t surprising, because you wouldn’t want a 120-foot monster that routinely rises from the depths of the ocean merely to terrorize citizens to be advertized alongside the country’s appeal to tourists to come visit the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
For Godzilla to be a tourism ambassador, it had to be officially recognized first. Interestingly, Japan had figured this out and has already recognized the monster as a citizen. Godzilla was recently recognized as a citizen of Shinjuku ward, home to the busiest railway station in the world.
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1
Date of birth: April 9, 1954 (the year of the release of the very first Godzilla film)
Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015
Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.
Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999)”
Apparently quite a few were miffed about a fictional character gaining a real citizenship as against millions of immigrants who are still struggling to secure one.
— K.A. Vanderhoef (@kavanderhoef) June 3, 2015
However, many ward residents and other Japanese people have welcomed Tokyo’s undisputed “King of Monsters”. One twitter user from Tokyo even said,
“Welcome to Tokyo! We forgive you for destroying our city previously.”
Interestingly, Godzilla shares its title of tourism ambassador with another fictional, but insanely popular Japanese character – Hello Kitty. Together they might be the most unlikely duo at two opposite sides of the spectrum, but they are universally recognized and as such won’t have much trouble performing their duties.
As always, Japan is quite particular about details and though Godzilla’s residency was announced last month, Shinjuku just made copies of Godzilla’s residency certificate available to the first 3,000 people who requested a proof of his citizenship.
[Image Credit | Toru Yamanaka / Getty Images, Comicbook.com]