Japan’s Coast Guard has been around for 70 years, and mascot Umimaru for 20 – so it’s high time for a Hello Kitty teamup!

Japan’s Coast Guard has been in action since the 1940s, and their list of responsibilities is vast as the ocean itself: not only do they help the police when capturing swimming fugitives, but they also direct maritime traffic, draw up maps of seas and coastlines and are also a first port of call when dealing with sea-side disasters.

Like all self-respecting organizations, they have a mascot: clean-cut captain Umimaru. This harp seal mascot sports a classy jacket, top-of-the-line navigational skills, and a pair of handsome eyebrows. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese Coast Guard, but it’s also Umimaru’s 20th birthday, which makes him an adult in the eyes of the Japanese government.

And how better to celebrate Umimaru’s Coming of Age Day than with a collaboration? We all know that Hello Kitty is the girl to call when you need a cute line of tie-in merchandise, and she jetted over (presumably on her brand new Shinkansen) to star with Umimaru in a variety of seaworthy goods.

Umimaru may be adorably soft, with limpid pools for eyes and those charming thick brows, but his uniform represents his committed work relationship with the sea. According to the Japanese Coast Guard, he’s wearing a uniform befitting that of a Coast Guard Superintendent’s 2nd Grade. You can normally only attain the Coast Guard Superintendent’s 3rd Grade by working hard and graduating the Coast Guard University, so Umimaru really deserves a salute for making it to an even higher grade at the tender age of 20.

The collaboration goods will be sold through the official website’s Umimaru Shop. Expect to see Kitty kitted out in a white dress-suit and blue necktie, emulating the Coast Guard’s summer uniform. The good captain looks so responsible posing next to her!

▼ Front and back designs for the flat pouch, priced at 1,000 yen (US$9.10) plus tax.

You can purchase a clear file in a similar pattern, if you’d rather have Kitty and Umimaru guard your important paper documents.

▼ The clear file is priced at 350 yen, plus tax.

The keychains also feature the dual mascot design, though you have extra options: Kitty in a Coast Guard wetsuit with Umimaru snorkel, and –

Wait a second… On a closer look… That’s not just Umimaru’s jacket! She’s stolen his very visage! She’s wearing him like a costume!

▼ The acrylic keychains will retail for 600 yen plus tax.

Kitty, you haven’t even been to the Coast Guard Academy! Wearing that uniform is probably against the law, even if you weren’t impersonating their adorable mascot. Still, it suits her so well, we think we can let her off the hook this one time.

One last reminder: if you enjoy Kitty collaborations, don’t forget to vote in the annual Sanrio Character Collaboration poll! Umimaru won’t make it into this year’s, but maybe next year his ship will sail.

Source: Press Release, Umimaru Shop
Featured Image: Press Release
[ Read in Japanese ]