Japan has taken a new approach with the phrase ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ by making its long standing terroriser Godzilla an official tourism Ambassador and citizen of Japan. Godzilla is pronounced ‘Gojira’ in Japanese and is a combination of the words ‘Gorilla’ and ‘kujira’ or whale. A decision was made after a giant Godzilla head measuring 12 was placed above Tokyo’s Toho Cinemas in the Shinjuku district to grant him this special honour.
A ceremony was held with the Mayor and a Toho executive with a special plaque created. It states its name, address, birthday, previous visits (in movies) and the reason for special residency as the promotion of entertainment, watching over the neighbourhood and bringing visitors from around the globe.
Godzilla’s credentials were printed 3,000 times in order to allow residents to proudly display their new neighbour’s residency status. The document itself puts Godzilla’s birthday as 9 April 1954 which would make him sixty-one years of age based on his first movie appearance. He has visited the region three times since his birth in 1984, 1991 and 1999 respectively.