Nagano's Bear Mascot Wins "Yuru-Kyara" Grand Prix
Nagano, Nov. 3 (Jiji Press)--Nagano Prefecture's "Arukuma" bear mascot Sunday won the main division of this year's "yuru-kyara" grand prix contest to select the most popular local mascot in Japan.
"We won thanks to your support," said Shuichi Abe, governor of the central Japan prefecture, hit hard by flooding from Typhoon Hagibis last month.
"I hope many people will visit us to reinvigorate our region," he said on stage at the M-Wave arena in the city of Nagano, where voting results were announced.
Arukuma won 106,419 votes, followed by the "Issho Kenmei! Inunakin!" dog mascot of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, with 106,358 votes and the "Korou Kun" castle-themed character of Kumamoto Prefecture with 95,904 votes.
Votes were accepted between Aug. 1 and Oct. 25 online and between Saturday and Sunday at the arena. Ballots cast at the arena carried twice the weight.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]