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Monday, 12th October 2009
In Sports,

Astro Boy leads Japan World Cup bid

An unlikely candidate has been revealed to spearhead Japan's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 football World Cup.

The figurehead for the newly launched campaign is computer-generated character Astro Boy.

He is currently appearing in Japan in a feature film released by animation house Imagi International Holdings.

The studio has created a short film starring Astro Boy in a football kit in honour of Japan's desire to host the event.

Chiong Kit Phoon, executive deputy chairman of Imagi, says: "Japan's decision to name Astro Boy as its public relations ambassador is further evidence that Astro Boy is a Japanese icon with worldwide appeal."

In 2002, Japan acted as co-host for the World Cup, partnering with South Korea in staging the event.

However, Kohzo Tashima, general secretary of Japan's Football Association, suggests that in 2018 or 2022 the country would look to co-host the event with all the countries of the world.

Written by Graham McPherson