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Friday, February 14, 2014, 15:00 - 16:00

Happy Valentine's Day visit by the world-famous black bear mascot from Kumamoto

Kumamon
PR Department Manager, Kumamoto Prefecture
Masataka Naruo
Director, Kumamoto-Brand Promotion Division, Kumamoto Prefectural Government

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 For the first time in the club's history, the club will mark Valentine's Day with an immensely popular young "boy" from Kumamoto Prefecture.

 Since his birth to mark the start of the Kyushu shinkansen network in March 2011, Kumamon, the prefecture's black bear mascot, has been a highly successful public relations division manager under Harvard-educated Gov. Ikuo Kabashima and his staff.

 The Kumamon phenomenon has gone viral at home and abroad as he has crisscrossed the Japanese archipelago and visited France to participate in the Japan Expo. He has also interacted with Harvard University students and Wally, the mascot of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.Kumamon greeted Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during the couple's visit to Kumamoto last October, while Japan Airlines even serves Kumamoto cuisine called "Air Kumamon" on some international flights.

 Kumamoto government officials estimate that sales of products featuring Kumamon posted an 11-fold rise in 2012 over a year before, totaling at least 29 billion yen. What are the secrets of Kumamon's success, and why does he stand out among growing numbers of rival "yuru kyara", or heartwarming mascot characters, as a tool to revitalize the local economy?

 Please come to the club with fellow scribers, guests and family members to find out.
What a way to celebrate Valentine's Day!

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

 くまもん

   Masataka Naruo                                        Kumamon

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