The prime minister took the stage in the closing ceremony of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
In the climax of a video showing Mario travelling to Rio from Japan, Mr Abe popped out of a huge life-size pipe holding a red ball and wearing Mario’s signature cap. The ball was then handed to gold medal winning, Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima. The presentation and hand off was an indication of Japan’s boasting of the country’s athletic and technological prowess. Japan is the next country to host the summer Olympics. We’re hoping that the iconic character will make plenty of appearances four years down the line, alongside all the other familiar and popular figures of Japan.