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Doraemon Gets Promotion from Japanese Government:
But FCC Problem Remains

This week Japan Times reported, “ Japan’s most lovable anime character, el gato cosmico (the cosmic cat) has been chosen to be Japan’s ambassador in Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. It’s the first time Japan has chosen an anime character for an Olympic ambassadorship. Congratulations Doraemon!”

As reported here in January 2007, there is a contention in Japan that the FCC’s “Broadband” character on the FCC Kids Zone appears to infringe the IP of Doraemon’s creators in Japan. This issue attracted 108 posts on the AnimeNewsNetwork, most critical of FCC.

A Major Japanese news service reported:

(Kyodo) _ The Japanese agency for the popular cartoon series featuring the robotic cat Doraemon said Tuesday it has sent a complaint to a U.S. government agency over its use of a "quite similar" character on its website.

Fujiko Pro, the holder of Doraemon's copyright, has determined that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is using a character named "Broadband" which is almost identical to Doraemon on its website section for children, said the Japanese agency Shogakukan Production Co.

Shogakukan Production, entrusted by Fujiko Pro with copyright protection, said it has sent a written complaint along with documents including excerpts from the cartoon to the FCC, requesting the commission seek permission whenever it uses the character for the purpose of profits.

But the FCC has made no response and has not deleted the character from the website so far, the Japanese agency said.

Broadband appears on the website's "Kids Zone" as a guide introducing children to the roles of the FCC, which oversees interstate and international communications. The agency also handles copyright issues.

One major difference between the two characters is that Broadband has ears while Doraemon does not.

The cartoon and animation series featuring Doraemon is especially popular in East Asia. The show was first aired in Japan in 1979, but has not been aired or published in the United States.

The controversy is discussed on FCC’s Japanese languageWikipedia page although not on its English version.

But now that Doraemon has been promoted to ambassador by the Japanese government, this issue may escalate.
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