An Obama presidency could boost the city’s recognition and possibly increase foreign tourism. The symbol you see here is an unofficial illustration of the group that supports Obama, clearly not for his policy, but for his name. How’s that for strategy to enhance tourism!
Obama means “little beach” in Japanese and the town is known for its lacquer ware. To milk Barack Obama’s run for American presidency as a means to heighten recognition of their town, they are in process of making headbands, T-shirts and Japanese style bean cakes with Barack’s face on them.
The town is also working on nurturing a personal relationship with Barack as they send him “care-packages” with good-luck dolls, lacquer chopsticks, a DVD and guidebook to the city. They hope that one day Barack will stop by on a trip to Japan.
To think that an American president merely sharing the name of a Japanese town could boost the town’s economy AND forge relationships between two countries is as great as it is bizarre.