Kumamon at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan

Kumamon at FCCJ
(Click on the image above to view the full gallery)

Tokyo, Japan – Kumamon, the black bear “Yuru-kyara” mascot of southern Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture, wins the hearts of foreign journalists as he appears at Tokyo’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Friday, February 14, 2014. Kumamon is highly successful for promoting Kumamoto, whose government officials estimate that sales of products featuring the Yuru-kyara posted an 11-fold rise in 2012 over a year before, totaling at least 29 billion yen. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)

Kumamon at FCCJ
(Click on the image above to view the full gallery)

Tokyo, Japan – A journalist poses for a photograph with Kumamon at the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Friday, February 14, 2014. Yuru-kyara is an abbreviation of a phrase meaning “floppy characters.” There are about 1,000 mascots created by local governments and other organizations nationwide from Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture, personifying local symbols, specialty products, animals and historical heroes to promote the regions they are from. (Photo by Natsuki Sakai/AFLO)