Geek Culture

Hatsune Miku tapped by Japan gov’t vs coronavirus

Japan has appointed Hatsune Miku, one of the world's most popular virtual idols, as Coronavirus Countermeasure Supporter. Image credit: Crypton Future Media, INC.
Image credit: Crypton Future Media, INC.

The Japanese government has appointed Hatsune Miku, one of the world’s most popular virtual idols, as Coronavirus Countermeasure Supporter.

Developed by Sapporo-based music technology company Crypton Future Media, INC., Hatsune Miku is a singing voice synthesizer featured in over 100,000 songs released worldwide. Her name means “the first sound from the future”.

Japanese Vocaloid

According to a report by Japan Today, this position is under the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat’s Office for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control.

“This office is responsible for informing the public of the latest in infection prevention methods based on the most up to date knowledge of the virus. Previous awareness campaigns include how to use the contact tracing app that no one else uses, and avoiding the ‘Three Cs’ of closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings.”

Released on August 31, 2007, Hatsune Miku is the first Japanese Vocaloid to use the Japanese version of the Vocaloid 2 engine. Crypton modeled her voice on Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita.

While developing Hatsune Miku, Crypton decided she should not just have an appealing voice, but also an image. So they asked manga artist Kei Garō, also known as KEI, to design Hatsune Miku.

Hatsune Miku has since become a collaboratively constructed cyber celebrity with an international community of users and fans.

In fact, this virtual idol has sold out several 3D concerts. These include performances in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The virtual pop star has also been featured on 170,000 uploaded YouTube videos and 1,000,000 created artwork, according to her Crypton page.

The Japan Today news report said the Vocaloid will serve as Coronavirus Countermeasure Supporter until March 31, 2021.

The government has not yet announced the exact duties of the virtual pop star. These, however, will likely include social media campaigns and video public service announcements.