SDF deploys perky mascot to boast cuddly image
By HIROKO TABUCHI
The Associated Press
Perky cartoon character Prince Pickles -- with saucer eyes, big dimples and tiny, booted feet -- poses in front of tanks, rappels from helicopters and shakes hands with smiling Iraqis.
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Furthermore, such characters have long been used in Japan to win hearts and minds and to soften the image of authority. The Metropolitan Police Department tries to lighten its stern image with Peopo, which looks like a cross between a rabbit and a space trooper.
The Peopo theme song can be heard here:
Just when I thought Japan couldn't get any cuter, I find out about the above!