Akita Pref. Bear Warning Poster is “Too Cute” to Convey Danger Animal Poses; Govt Sending Mixed Messages

Courtesy of Akita Prefecture
The poster created by Akita Prefecture that warns people to be vigilant about bears

AKITA — A poster that warns people to be vigilant about bears looks a little too cute to convey the danger that the animals pose, a member of an Akita prefectural assembly’s budget committee pointed out on Wednesday.

The poster was created by the prefectural authority. On it, an adorable bear is seen peeking from behind some bushes. The words “Watch out for bears” are written on it.

A total of 35,000 posters were printed and have been distributed to the prefectural authority, municipalities and related organizations.

An official of the prefectural government in charge of the issue responded to the question, saying, “Indeed, as you have pointed out, I feel it is very difficult to convey the message of how serious the harm is with the poster. I will consider fixing the matter.”

Gov. Norihisa Satake, who was also at the committee meeting, said, “The images that invoke fear should be used.”