Godzilla gets residency in Tokyo

Godzilla gets residency in Tokyo
A life-size Godzilla head on a balcony of the eighth floor of Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is displayed during the official unveiling ceremony at Kabukicho shopping district in Tokyo on April 9, 2015. The Godzilla is a main feature of the new commercial complex comprising a 970-room hotel, movie theatres and restaurants which will be open this month.

TOKYO - Fictional city-wrecking monster Godzilla has been granted special residency in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward, as a newly-installed model of the lizard's huge head proves a pull to visitors.

Marking "the emergence of the 12-metre (40-feet) high Godzilla head on a terrace on the eighth floor of Shinjuku Toho Building... we issued a special certificate of residence to Godzilla," a Shinjuku official told AFP Wednesday.

The 30-floor commercial complex has a hotel, cinemas, shops and restaurants, and the newly-installed beast's head is visible to passers-by on the street below.

Afficionados can book a night in hotel rooms with view of the monster as it looms outside their window.

"Shinjuku ward also appointed Godzilla as a special envoy for tourism," the official said.

Anyone who goes to a ward office can get a copy of the residence certificate, which is normally used in applications for passports or to register a child at a local nursery school.

The 1954 movie "Gojira" - a Japanese portmanteau of "gorilla" and "kujira" (whale) - was a mega hit, drawing 9.6 million viewers in the days before television sets were commonplace in Japanese households.

It has since been through numerous incarnations, including several done in Hollywood.

Film studio Toho, which owns the rights to Godzilla, is planning a new movie for release in 2016. That follows a $160 million box office success in 2014 for Warner Bros.

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