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Fukushima Industries has had to make a public apology after its new, unfortunately named mascot was deemed to be poking fun at the ill-fated nuclear power plant.
The mascot ‘Fukuppy’ was released by the Osaka-based fridge company Fukushima Industries, and has nothing to do with TEPCOs Fukushima nuclear power plant, but due to a misunderstanding by English speaking media, the mascot was reported to have been a public relations blunder to improve the image of the plant.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was the site for the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl when, in March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami hit the facility resulting in melt downs at three of its reactors
Related articles: How Our Inability to Calculate Risk Opened the Doors for Fukushima
More recently TEPCO, the Japanese energy utility, and operator of the Daiichi power plant has faced more media attention after it has been discovered that contaminated water has been leaking into the sea from the site ever since the disaster.
Fukushima Industries, one of the largest industrial cooling manufacturers in Japan, with offices around Asia, including China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Taiwan, explained on Tuesday that the reports of any link to TEPCO were a misunderstanding.
“This time, the name of our corporate character, because of the way it’s written, has been regarded as inappropriate, or has been misunderstood among English-speaking people. We sincerely apologize for the fact that we have caused misunderstandings and concerns among many people.”
The message with the mascot reads: “I'm Fukuppy. I think I'm kind, with a strong sense of justice, but people say I'm a little bit scatterbrained.”
According to the Telegraph it is fairly common in Japan for companies to have their own cuddly mascot, with the Tokyo police force sporting a small teddy bear called Pipo-Kun, intended to create a friendlier image for the city’s department of law enforcement.
RT reports that the company claims the mascot’s name was created by taking the first part of the company’s name ‘Fuku’ and the end of the English word ‘happy.’ And in Japanese is pronounced “foo-koo-pee.”
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English words are popular when naming the mascots, but at times can create rather scandalous results, as what the Japanese read as an innocent sounding word may appear different to someone who actually speaks English.
As a result of the whole affair Fukushima Industries have stated they will work on a new name for their mascot.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…