Hopefully the newly-elected officials will be announcing their political stances soon.

The Foreign Minister of Japan Taro Kono announced on Wednesday that appointed popular characters Pikachu and Hello Kitty as ambassadors to Osaka to help promote the Japanese city as a host for the World Expo 2025. The images show Kono awarding both mascot characters official recognition of their status as ambassadors.

The host city won’t be selected until November 2018, and Osaka is currently competing against Paris; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Yekaterinburg, Russia. However, the city is hoping its bid won’t be lost after Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympic Games and that electing the two characters will win the support of the international community through Japan’s “soft power,” like anime and manga.

Pikachu and Hello Kitty weren’t the only appointed ambassadors. Kono also selected living, breathing humans Keisuke Honda (a professional soccer player) and Nobel Prize-winning stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka.

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Source: TBS News
Featured image: Twitter/@konotaromp