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Tuesday, 20th May 2008
In Japan Travel News,

Hello Kitty 'heads to China'

Japan has sent the iconic cat Hello Kitty to both China and Hong Kong.

Operating as Japan's ambassador for tourism, Hello Kitty has been dispatched to two of Japan's neighbours in an effort to increase the number of tourists who visit Japan every year.

Under the ambitions of the Visit Japan tourism campaign, it is hoped that every year a total of ten million individuals will travel to the country from overseas.

"In comparison to the 16 million Japanese travelling overseas annually, only five million foreign tourists [visit Japan]. The Initiative aims to lessen the gap at the earliest possible stage," said the Japan National Tourist Organisation about the Visit Japan campaign.

Hello Kitty's appointment as ambassador for tourism was made by Japan's ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism.

Created by the Japanese company Sanrio and with a history going back to 1974, Hello Kitty is now one of the best-known fictional characters around the world and depicted on products in 60 different countries.

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