Saturday, April 3, 2010

Here's my card, give me a call if you have any information about the murder and yeah, isn't Pipo-kun cute?

As a follow-up to my previous posts on the incompetency in terms on use of cute mascot characters in the Japanese police department (here and here), the other day I was watching the news on Japanese TV. I didn't follow the details much, but it was about a murder investigation with ties to the US (I believe the suspect had visited the US at some point that was of interest to the investigation). So the Japanese TV team were interviewing some American shop owner who had had some interaction with the suspect previously.

The TV team showed pictures of the suspect and the guy said that he knew of the Japanese suspect and also that the Japanese police had spoken to him about it a few days earlier, and he brought out a business card he had received from the Japanese detectives. So far, so good, but then I saw that, in full color and pretty large, the Japanese Tokyo Metropolitan PD apparently have Piipo-kun printed on their cards!

I can see how Japanese people can ignore the character during interactions with the police, but I wonder if anyone considered what kind of impression it does in other countries to have a bizarre looking orange character printed on the cards when you might need to look like a tough hardened cop...?

(Since I unfortunately have very little interaction with the police and a good picture was hard to find the very very blurry picture here is the best I could find of that of how their cards look)


aimlesswanderer said...

Don't worry, next a suitably cute character will appear on every government official and politician's cards. Gotta show everyone how serious and scary you are!

The rest of the world is way over obsessed with cuteness too, uhh, right?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Aimless - Yeah, but I seriously can't imagine this in any other country than Japan... But as long as it's not that creepy Okinawa mascot I guess we should consider ourselves lucky...

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