Pikachu bamboozled fans earlier this year when the small mascot traded-in its incessant "pika pika" banter for full sentences and a high-pitch human voice. Now, in an attempt to harness this newfound bi-lingual talent, Japanese Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno has made this iconic Pokemon character an official country ambassador alongside Hello Kitty.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Kōno said: "I have appointed Pikachu and Hello Kitty as Ambassadors to promote the City of Osaka for the Expo host city." These two internationally-recognized celebrities are now tasked with bolstering support for Osaka, the second-largest city in Japan, as a potential destination for World Expo 2025.
I have appointed Pikachu and Hello Kitty as Ambassador to promote the City of Osaka for the 2025 Expo host city. pic.twitter.com/mCkiCl5T5j— KONO Taro (@konotaromp) November 29, 2017
Dubai is set to host the 2020 event, which takes places every five years, while France, Russian, Azerbaijan and Japan are all in-the-running for the next one. As the website explains, World Expos (known officially as International Registered Exhibitions) is an event "designed to raise awareness of and find responses to universal challenges of our time."
"Connecting Minds, Creating the Future"
The 170 members states of the Bureau International des Expositions will make their decision on the host country at the 164th General Assembly in November 2018.
So far, however, no other country has convinced a beloved Pokemon to rep their cause.