Godzilla Granted Japanese Citizenship

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TOKYO/ JAPAN: It’s official: Godzilla is now a resident of Japan.

Specifically of Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood, where city officials have drawn up residency papers celebrating the giant lizard’s citizenship.

5,000 copies of his residency papers have been printed and are being given to Godzilla fans on a first come, first served basis.

The ceremony officially recognising Godzilla as a tourism ambassador of Japan—a title also held by Help Kitty—was held in the Shinjuku area, an area that also recently became home to a Godzilla-themed hotel and movie theatre.

A replica of Japan’s undisputed “King of Monsters” was also placed on top of the district’s iconic Toho building. The Japanese film company will release a new Godzilla film in 2016, following the success of a 2014 Hollywood remake by British director Gareth Edwards.

Godzilla attended an awards ceremony in April, where he was presented with a sash from Shinjuku mayor, Kenichi Yoshizumi.

The 1954 movie “Gojira” — a Japanese portmanteau of “gorilla” and “kujira” (whale) — was a mega hit, drawing 9.6 million viewers in the days before television sets were commonplace in Japanese households.

It has since been through numerous incarnations, including several done in Hollywood.

Film studio Toho, which owns the rights to Godzilla, is planning a new movie for release in 2016. That follows a $160 million box office success in 2014 for Warner Bros.

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