Watch: The Prime Minister of Japan turns into Mario for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

August 22, 2016 by Kris Ligman

Mario and Doraemon at the Olympic Games.

The Olympics are a time where countries get a burst of pride for their national identity, and where Japan is concerned, that means athletic excellence, of course -- but it also means pride in a country known for its animation and videogames. So it makes sense that in Japan's bombastic new 'trailer' looking head to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, it should showcase all these things. Including literally turning the country's prime minister into Mario.

In the above video, which segues into a live segment held at the Rio Olympics' closing ceremonies this morning, Prime Minister Abe transforms into the plucky Nintendo mascot to travel through a warp pipe just in time to make his Rio appearance. Accompanying Mario in the video are fellow game mascot Pac-man and children's cartoon characters Hello Kitty, Captain Tsubasa, and Doraemon. Curiously, despite Pokemon Go presently taking over the entire planet, there wasn't a single hint of electric rodent Pikachu.

Below, watch (most of) the Tokyo 2020 "warming up" video, including Prime Minister Abe's warp pipe entrance.

Top image source: Stoyan Nenov, Reuters.