Some people have been ignoring warnings about COVID-19. But can they ignore Coronavirus advice and warnings from a virtual idol singer?
The Japanese government certainly seems to hope so. It recently appointed Hatsune Miku as a Coronavirus Countermeasure Supporter.
A Coronavirus What?
Under normal circumstances, the only viruses that the international Vocaloid superstar might have to worry about would be computer viruses.
She’s not actually human, after all.
However, in her new role, Miku will be helping Japan’s Office for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control spread information about combating the pandemic.
Although government-sponsored videos featuring her haven’t shown up yet (as of Monday), Vocaloid fans have already come up with unofficial Coronavirus-themed videos, such as this one:
According to a press release from software developer Crypton Future Media, “we will carry out dissemination and enlightenment activities to deepen knowledge and understanding of the novel Coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19).”
In addition to developing the Vocaloid software, Crypton Future Media also created a Risk Notification System for Coronavirus earlier this year.
The government office has previously produced information in both Japanese and English about preventing Coronavirus outbreaks.
So, we can only assume that Miku will likely appear in public service announcements and social media posts to promote this information.
Previous fact sheets (without Miku in them) have included:
- Avoid the Three Cs — Closed spaces with poor ventilation, Crowded places, Close-contact settings
- Washing hands
- Coughing manners
Hatsune Miku won’t be the only Coronavirus Countermeasure Supporter.
The government has also recruited players from the Yomiuri Giants, Vissel Kobe, and other people. (The Vissel Kobe video is even bilingual, as Andrés Iniesta gives his part of the message en Español.)
Miku isn’t even the only non-human, as Softbank Robotics’ Pepper will also join the campaign.
Hatsune Miku will remain a supporter until March 31, 2021.
The Office for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control is part of Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat.
You can fin the office’s Twitter page here. It is also on YouTube.