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A life-size and scaly Godzilla head was unveiled 170 feet above Shinjuku, in central Tokyo, on Thursday evening, as the “King of the Monsters” was granted official residency and made a tourism ambassador of the district he has destroyed a few times in his films over the years.
The 80-ton model of the monster’s head, which roared and breathed smoke during the opening ceremony, is based on the classic 1992 Godzilla vs. Mothra film directed by Koichi Kawata, who helmed five of the series and died in December.
Toho is rebooting the Japanese end of the franchise after more than a decade, following the global success last year of Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, which also performed strongly in Japan.
Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi presented Godzilla with a special resident card for the district, while the head of the local tourism promotion association named the radiated, mutant monster an ambassador for the local area, a popular one with foreign tourists for shopping and dining.
The 31-story Shinjuku Toho building hosting the monster will also be home to the capital’s biggest theater, Toho Cinemas Shinjuku, when it opens April 17, as well as a high-rise hotel.
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