Vaporeon Pokémon chosen as ambassador for Japan's 'Water Day'

TIL: Pokémon is an abbreviation of Pocket Monsters.

Fiona Tan | July 23, 2021, 07:18 PM

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Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has selected Vaporeon – a water type Generation I Pokémon – as their upcoming "Water Day" ambassador.

Image from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism website.

"Water Day"

Since Pokémon was launched internationally over 20 years ago, here's a picture of Vaporeon to jog your memory.

Evolving from its predecessor Eevee, the light blue Pokémon will be the face of "Water Day", an annual event that seeks to raise awareness in Japan about water resources and conservation.

Image from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism website.

Vaporeon will be championing water conservation together with Momoka Mine, who was crowned Mizu No Tenshi (Water Angel) at the 2021 Miss Nippon Contest.

Screenshot image from MLIT channel/YouTube.

Held on Aug. 1, the event is part of a larger week-long event that is aptly named "Water Week", which has the same general message and goals of water conservation.

Screenshot image from MLIT channel/YouTube.

According to MLIT, various events, organised by the government, local authorities and other related groups, will take place throughout the week from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7.

Other Pokémon mascots

This is not the first time that Japanese officials have enlisted the help of Pokémon, or other anime characters, to promote special events and causes.

Another Generation I Pokémon, Lapras was recently signed on to promote dams and public transport in Japan.

Neither is this water-ice dual-type Pokémon's first stint at celebrity, where Lapras was previously the ambassador for the Miyagi prefecture in 2019.

Image from Japan National Tourism Organization website.

Also in 2019, Geodude was appointed as Iwate prefecture's ambassador.

There is no more suitable Pokémon than the rock-ground type Pokémon with hands to represent Iwate, which translates literally to "rock" and "hand".

However, several workarounds had to be made to the real life mascot's body.

More specifically, legs were added to the mascot's costume and in a somewhat bewildering black-and-white checkered pattern to symbolise transparency or invisibility (the Pokémon character has no legs in the anime).

Image from poke_times/Twitter.

Image from poke_times/Twitter.

Other Japanese mascots

Japan sure loves its mascots, as it seems like there is a mascot for just about anything in the land of the rising sun.

Here are some that you might find familiar:

Kotoro-kun at Kagawa, Japan

Could pass off as Studio Ghibli's Totoro and we would be none the wiser.

Firework mascot at Yamagata University

Not to be confused, nor associated with coronavirus.

Sanda the serow mascot of Kamoshika Net

A frustrated manager – the online store's mascot is a mood.

Click here for more interesting mascots in Japan.

Other Pokémon stories:

Top image from Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism website and screenshot from MLIT channel/YouTube