The Japanese Foreign Ministry has come up with a new wrinkle - three roving ambassadors for Japan's "kawaii" culture. Misako Aoki appears to hold the 'Lolita' portfolio; it's not clear what trends the others represent.
(Via Japan Newbie blog, which has a lot more. Official Foreign Ministry page, in Japanese here.)
While this may seem like more biggov silliness, it makes a sort of sense. Japanese cultural exports have become a big business, even as its leadership in electronics slips southward to Korea and China. The reach in the US is slowly breaking out of the typically adolescent otaku set; last week I spotted a copy of Shonen Jump in my orthopedist's waiting room.
Given Japan's affection for things robotic, I'm now eagerly awaiting the arrival of a giant autonomous mecha ambassador.