It comes as a surprise to learn that for 61 years Godzilla was never declared an official resident of Japan. However, as of April 9th, Japan has officially granted residency to the King of the Monsters.
As a way to boost tourism, Japan has assigned mascots to serve as cultural ambassadors for its prefectures. For example, Kumamon (pictured below) is the mascot of the Kumamoto Prefecture.
Hopefully with little question, Godzilla was handpicked as the official tourism ambassador for Tokyo. A 171-foot bust of Godzilla was unveiled atop of Toho, the studio behind the original ‘Godzilla’ in 1954.
During this ceremony, Mayor Kenichi Yoshizuma of Shinjuku (one of the special wards in Tokyo Metropolis demolished by Godzilla a few times in the past) awarded the movie icon his residency certificate. Godzilla was there to receive it (or maybe an actor in a Godzilla costume received it), but he ran into a bit of trouble.
As most kaiju know, it is immensely difficult to use your claws for grabbing and holding purposes. Therefore, Toho executive Minami Ichikawa accepted the certificate and shook hands with the mayor on Godzilla’s behalf.
Here’s a copy of Godzilla’s residency certificate that was handed out to 3,000 fans during the ceremony. (Translation is below.)
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1
Date of birth: April 9, 1954
Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015
Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.
Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; ‘Godzilla’ (1984), ‘Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah’ (1991), ‘Godzilla 2000 Millennium’ (1999)