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Friday, 10th April 2015
In Japan Travel News,

The new tourism ambassador of Tokyo is? Godzilla!

It is known more for its fire breathing and building stomping, but Godzilla has been officially made the new tourism ambassador for Tokyo.

The monster has been appointed special resident and tourism ambassador for the Shinjuku district, which is often known for its bars and noodle restaurants. It is hoped that the giant lizard will help attract further tourists to the region, in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - officials hope that the country will be attracting 20 million foreign visitors annually by this point.

As part of proceedings, a Godzilla-size head has been unveiled at the office of Toho, the Japanese studio that filmed the 1954 original movie and will be shooting a comeback film later in 2015. The head towers 170 feet above ground level, while at the ceremony Toho executive Minami Ichikawa accepted the residency certificate in Godzilla's place.

Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi said: "Godzilla is a character that is the pride of Japan." Mr Yoshizumi added that it has become belief now that any place where Godzilla destructs in the moves are sure to prosper in real life. Shinjuku ward has actually been flattened in three Toho movies, while the creature has also flattened the likes of Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, the Parliament building, and various castles across Japan.

Godzilla, which was born as a result of nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, symbolised the national trauma over the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. While Toho continued to make various Godzilla movies, it announced in 2004 that its 28th had been the last in the series. It wouldn't be until 2014 that the monster would re-appear on screen in Gareth Edwards' Hollywood global-hit movie Godzilla.

Toho's reboot is scheduled for 2016, while Edwards' sequel for Warner Brothers is planned for 2018.

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