by T. Hodler
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
As Japan sheds its postwar pacifism and gears up to take a higher military profile in the world, it is enlisting cadres of cute characters and adorable mascots to put a gentle, harmless sheen to its Self-Defense Forces deployments.
“Prince Pickles is our image character because he’s very endearing, which is what Japan’s military stands for,” said Defense Ministry official Shotaro Yanagi. “He’s our mascot and appears in our pamphlets and stationery.”
Such characters have long been used in Japan to win hearts and minds and to soften the image of authority.
(via Making Light)