The government of Japan appointed voice actress and singer Aya Hirano as a Cool Japan ambassador on Sunday. Hirano shared the news on her Twitter account that she is the first entertainer and pop culture personality to be appointed as a Cool Japan ambassador.
— 平野綾オフィシャルインフォ (@Hysteric_Barbie) September 9, 2019
Hirano is the voice behind popular anime characters including Fairy Tail‘s Lucy Heartfilia, Gintama’s Nobume Imai, Dragon Ball Super‘s Dende, and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya‘s Haruhi. She has performed theme songs for anime such as The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Fairy Tail, and Lucky Star, another television series for which she headlined.
“Cool Japan” is a program supported by the Japanese government and various companies that promotes modern Japanese culture such as anime and manga abroad. The program revolves around the premise that Japan’s strength in business and international affairs lies in anime, manga, films, fashion, and other fields of Japanese arts and entertainment content. The Cool Japan Fund recently invested US$30 million in Sentai Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Sentai Filmworks, HIDIVE, and Anime Network. The announcement noted that “Sentai’s independent status makes it a rarity in North America as a licensor of Japanese anime.”