Sunday, March 14, 1999 Published at 19:05 GMT
Teletubbies say 'konnichi wa'
New dawn for Teletubbies
By Juliet Hindell in Tokyo
The Teletubbies are already the favourites of children in 80 countries. Now Tinky Winky, Laa Laa, Dipsy and Po are about to make their debut in Japan.
The hit show, which features four chubby characters in purple, yellow, green and red who do not say much, is being launched in Tokyo on Monday. It will be on air twice a week from the beginning of April.
The BBC programme is expected to be hugely popular. Teletubbies merchandise such as key rings and pencil cases are already being snapped up in Japan and not just by young children.
Young women are already fans of the Teletubbies. They say they are sweet.
Children's programmes and cartoon characters frequently find a much wider following in Japan, where many adults are addicted to anything cute.
A recent example was the success of a children's song about three dumplings. While children loved the music, adults started buying dumplings in their thousands.
It is likely that Teletubbies will have a similar impact.
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