Time Asia Features Heroes Images DoraemonLovable toon robot cat DORAEMON has been appointed Japan’s cartoon ambassador!

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura appointed the cat an “anime ambassador,” handing a human-sized Doraemon doll an official certificate at an inauguration ceremony, along with dozens of “dorayaki” red bean pancakes — his favorite dessert — piled on a huge plate.

Komura told the doll, with an unidentified person inside, that he hoped he would widely promote Japanese animated cartoons, or “anime.”

“Doraemon, I hope you will travel around the world as an anime ambassador to deepen people’s understanding of Japan so they will become friends with Japan,” Komura told the blue-and-white cat.

The move is part of Japan’s growing use of its immense pop culture influence on a more formal and governmental basis — like the International Manga Award established last year.

Doraemon, a fun loving robot cat sent from the future to aid a schoolboy, debuted in 1969 as a manga. Created by Fujiko F. Fujio, Doraemon has appeared in 1344 manga stories, and been adapted into an even more popular anime series. In 2002 he was voted one of 22 Asian Heroes by Time Asia magazine

As ambassador, the helpful blue feline — or at least a movie ABOUT him — will engage in a whirlwind tour set to include Singapore, China, Spain, France, and other countries.


  1. I have to say — as someone well outside Japan — that that character doesn’t appeal to me in the least, nor would it compel me to check out anime were I not already interested in it.

    Not quite sure what the thought process is here. Japanese culture is so inundated with ‘cute’ things, but I just don’t see it having an appeal in places like the United States or western Europe where plush-type characters don’t define or mean…anything.

  2. At least in Spain, I can assure you that Doraemon is well know and loved, you even got some food brands with its face on it (targeted to kids).

  3. Yeah, was expecting this.
    Doraemon is loved in just about every Asian country in existence. And as Viru pointed out, in alot of European countries as well.
    When I went to India, Doraemon was constantly on TV (in Hindi), one of the few anime showing to kids (including Pokemon and Yugioh). The anime is also shown regularly in alot of Middle Eastern countries.
    I think the only places left on earth where Doraemon is unknown is probably the English-speaking countries. Weird, but true.
    Even Time Magazine had to name him as an “Asia’s Hero”