The government of Japan announced that Hello Kitty is the new tourism ambassador to China and Hong Kong. Previously, eleven individuals have been named as tourism ambassadors, but Hello Kitty is the first fictional character to be given the honors. The character will be part of the "Visit Japan" program that has already given the country a 60% boost in foreign tourism since it started back in 2003. Organizers are hoping to increase tourism to 10 million people (from around 8 million people).
For more information: ANN