While the craze over regional mascots continues, recent mishaps involving some characters shows not everything is rosy in the “yuru-kyara” (soft character) industry.

Late last month, the city of Tosu, Saga Prefecture, population of 72,000, halted all PR activities tied to its official character, Totto-chan, after a performance on a late-night radio program aired by Nippon Broadcasting System ignited dozens of angry comments from the public.

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