Godzilla Is Now An Official Citizen Of Japan

Godzilla seems to be giving Hello Kitty some serious competition.

City officials in Tokyo's Shinjuku neighborhood not only made one of Japan's most fearsome creatures a full-fledged citizen, but welcomed Godzilla with residency papers distributed throughout the district for Godzilla fans.

Interestingly, Shinjuku is the district that Godzilla destroyed on three different occasions in movies.

Godzilla didn't only get citizenship, but a birthday: April 9, 1954, the year of the release of the very first Godzilla film.

The ceremony also officially recognized Godzilla as a tourism ambassador of Japan (Hello Kitty has competition now).

So why did they feel the need for it? Well, apart from entertainment and promoting tourism, they wanted the giant lizard to watch over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and even plan to put a Godzilla head on a building.

They already have a Godzilla-themed hotel and movie theater.

Here’s the impressive ceremony:

(Note: It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need any translation for the enthusiasm and fanfare!)

The giant lizard has great importance for the Japanese; indeed, it’s their best loved monster. "Godzillia is a character that is the pride of Japan," declared Shinjuki Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi.

The world first met Godzilla in a series of tokusatsu films and appeared in Ishiro Honda's 1954 film Godzilla. There was no looking back for the giant (so to speak) and it became a worldwide pop culture icon.

There have since been video games, novels, comic books, television series and Hollywood movies.

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