Since it was erected last July, close to a million people have visited the 59 foot tall statue of the Gundam robot that stands sentry in front of Japan Railway's Higashi-Shizuoka Station in Shizuoka's Aoki ward.
According to Anime News Network, the central Japanese city of Shizuoka calculates that the statue will bring in 40 billion yen ($440 million) to the local economy. In addition, the presence of the statue is projected to create 9,600 jobs for security, maintenance, and other operations at the site.
I know you're thinking what I'm thinking: President Obama needs to build some Gundam robots around the U.S to create "shovel ready" jobs and turn this rotten economy around. I believe this is a policy both sides of the political spectrum can get behind.
GUNDAM or MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM is the long-running Japanese anime series started in 1979. It has spawned one of the most popular franchises in Japan that has branched off into lucrative runs in TV, movies, manga, video games, toys, among other modes.
The beloved Gundam statue was originally built for the 30th Anniversary of the Gundam franchise, and has quickly become a highly sought after piece of landmark. In the previous summer, when it stood on the artificial island of Odaiba, the giant robot attracted 4.15 million visitors.
Mike Le is a writer/producer living in Los Angeles. He is also the creator of the webcomic DON'T FORGET TO VALIDATE YOUR PARKING.
You can follow Mike Le on Twitter: @DFTVYP