It’s no secret that Japan’s famous Hello Kitty is popular. Well, the world renowned Sanrio product just jumped another notch on the popularity scale. The New York Times’ Mike Nizza reports here that Japan’s tourism ministry has made Hello Kitty tourism ambassador to China and Hong Kong. Officials hope that Hello Kitty will help Japan reach its goal of attracting 10 million foreign visitors to the country by 2010 as part of its “Visit Japan” campaign.

But hey, at least she has some experience on her resume. In 2004, Hello Kitty served as an ambassador for UNICEF’s “Go Girls!” Campaign.

And it’s not like she’ll stick out like a sore thumb. The feline will have a friend in Doraemon, an animated robot cat, who was recently appointed Japan’s anime ambassador. Not to mention that in November 2007, the timeless Astro Boy character was named Japan’s envoy for overseas safety.

For those of you who just can’t get enough Hello Kitty in America, you might want to go to St. Louis, where there is an art exhibit pairing the cartoon cat with famous images from art history running now through June 21.

Hello Kitty

photo: Hello Kitty at Japan’s Sanrio Puroland


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