Hello Kitty Tapped for Diplomacy Hello Kitty, Japan's chubby-cheeked, white cartoon cat is one of the most powerful and lucrative brands in the world. And this week, the fictional character has been selected as an envoy; officials in Tokyo have named her their official tourism ambassador to Hong Kong and China.
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Hello Kitty Tapped for Diplomacy

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Hello Kitty Tapped for Diplomacy

Hello Kitty Tapped for Diplomacy

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And today's last word in business comes from a Japanese cartoon character that needs very little marketing.

(Soundbite of Hello Kitty jingle)

INSKEEP: It needs very little marketing because it's the definition of marketing. Hello Kitty is the chubby-cheeked, white cartoon cat that you see on little girls' backpacks and notebooks, t-shirts, pencils, a certain toothbrush in my house. Hello Kitty is more popular among girls and young women in Asia even than in the United States.

Hello Kitty is in fact one of the most powerful and lucrative brands in the world. So who better to promote goodwill and tourism dollars? Yesterday, officials in Tokyo named Hello Kitty Japan's official tourism ambassador to Hong Kong and China. They're hoping to tap into Kitty's overseas fan base and boost tourism.

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