Babies in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward and elsewhere can now use a birth report featuring Licca-chan, a long-cherished dress-up doll who was "born" in the ward.
The ward office has teamed with toymaker Tomy Co. to launch a series of projects featuring the doll, and the birth report is the first.
The Licca-chan doll was introduced in 1967 from the predecessor of Tomy, Takara Co., which was based in Katsushika Ward, so she celebrated her 50th anniversary in 2017.
It's the first time a character created by a private company has been used in Japan in the design of a birth report, officials said.
The doll, whose full name is Licca Kayama, is an 11-year-old fifth-grader who has a French father, a Japanese mother and five siblings, twins and triplets. In fiscal 2017, she was appointed as a France tourism goodwill ambassador.
"Starting in Katsushika, (Licca-chan) is expanding her field of activity globally," said Maiko Murayama, head of Tomy’s public relations section.
Featuring Licca-chan’s family and their pets, 10,000 copies of the birth report have been printed.
The document can be submitted to any municipality across Japan. But because it will be collected and kept by the relevant local government, Katsushika officials are calling on residents to take commemorative pictures before they hand it over.
In fiscal 2016, birth reports for 3,618 babies were submitted to the Katsushika Ward office.
"I hope it will become a catalyst for the ward to increase (the number of children) in incremental steps," said Katsushika Mayor Katsunori Aoki.
As the second project following the special birth report, two buses featuring illustrations of Licca-chan will go into service from March.
The buses will operate on Keisei Bus Co.’s route connecting Kameari Station and Shin-Koiwa-eki Tohoku Hiroba, which goes through areas around Keisei Electric Railway Co.'s Tateishi and Aoto stations dotted with Tomy’s main office and related facilities.