Kumamoto Prefecture made the Kumamon character available for use by overseas companies from Jan. 8. Businesses based outside of Japan that meet the necessary criteria will be allowed to manufacture and sell products featuring the much-loved mascot. It is hoped the move will help improve the image of Kumamoto overseas and increase inbound tourism into the area. Asatsu-DK (ADK), a Kumamoto-based advertising agency will manage the licensing applications. Overseas companies that use the Kumamon character will be charged between five to seven percent of the illustrated item’s retail price. Source: Sankei Shimbun, 1/5/2018
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