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Hello Kitty Cabs Hit Tokyo Streets

Japanese taxi company, Kanachu, has signed a three-year licensing deal with HELLO KITTY creator Sanrio to create KITTY-themed taxicabs, reported CNN. The pink and baby blue sedan with two HELLO KITTY characters emblazoned on the side, include HELLO KITTY blankets, play HELLO KITTY music as well as offer riders HELLO KITTY umbrellas, ponchos and tissues. The 10 specialty cabs began running in April 2003.

The cabs are meant to attract mothers and their kids, making a cab ride more fun for a child with the free giveaways.

Katsuo Habu, a manager at Kanachu, said, "The Sanrio people told us they associated taxis with bearded, smoking male drivers. That is why they were not really sure if they wanted us to use their character. But we told them that we would have female drivers and the cars would be non-smoking. We hope mothers use our service when small children cry because they have to go to [the] hospital or kindergarten.

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Rick DeMott
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