For the first time in Japanese history, a foreign embassy is promoting an animation series. Starting October 28, the Israeli embassy is producing a seven-part web anime series to promote Israel in Japan, and, according to the ambassador, to bring the two countries closer together.

The Israeli embassy is doing what no other embassies in Japan have ever done before them, which is promoting their country through the world of pop culture. Also a first for a foreign country, they created and entered an Israeli yuruchara, Shaloum, into the Yuruchara Grand Prix of 2014. For those of you who may not be familiar, a yuruchara is an anime-style mascot, usually representing a prefecture, local government, city, company, or any number of organizations for the purpose of promotion. The term yuruchara literally translates into loose characters, and Japan has about a million of them, and even more fans.

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By entering Shaloum into the annual yuruchara commpetition, they are attempting to make young and old Japanese citizens alike become more aware of Israel.

The web animation, which Shaloum is also promoting, is a drama/comedy, scheduled to premiere on Youtube and Facebook on October 28 to coincide with World Animation Day. If interested or curious, mark the date on your calendars. I know I'll be checking it out.