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'Ugly but cute' Akita dog Wasao reappointed as 'tourism stationmaster' in Aomori Pref.

From left to right, Wasao, Tsubaki and Chome see off passengers on a departing train at JR Ajigasawa Station in Aomori Prefecture on April 1. (Mainichi)

AJIGASAWA, Aomori -- Famous Akita dog Wasao was reappointed as "tourism stationmaster" in this town in northeastern Japan on April 1.

    Known for his "ugly but cute" face, Wasao has held the post since 2011 at JR Ajigasawa Station in Aomori Prefecture.

    To help promote the town, Wasao will be joined by his wife Tsubaki, who serves as the deputy stationmaster, while daughter Chome became a trainee.

    A ceremony to mark the occasion was held April 1 but it was a little sad because the owner of the dogs, Setsuko Kikuya, passed away last fall.

    Kikuya saw Wasao last summer and said he was "OK," according to Ken Kudo, a local supporter of the dogs.

    After the ceremony, the three dogs saw off passengers on a departing train from the platform.

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