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Marty Friedman is Now an Official Ambassador of Japan Heritage, Will Appear at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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As we all know, Marty Friedman is basically Japanese now. What’s more remarkable than the fact that he’s been living in Tokyo for the past decade and a half and has built an entire career for himself that most of the rest of the world is completely unaware of is that he decided to release an album in America — 2014’s stellar Inferno — and then tour here in support it. Most Stateside metalheads figured he’d morphed into a piece of sashimi already, but his return was very, very welcome and critically praised to boot.

Now the Japanese government has officially recognized Friedman’s significance as an ambassador of Japanese culture to the rest of the world: Friedman has been named an “Ambassador of Japan Heritage,” a role he will hold up to and including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

How fucking cool is that??? The guy who played on Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction is AN OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR OF THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT! Score one for metalheads!

He also couldn’t be any better suited for the role. Friedman has been immersed in Japanese pop culture ever since he arrived in Japan; he’s something of a national celebrity, appearing on TV often and performing and collaborating with Japanese pop stars, and he’s been very vocal about his love for modern Japanese culture in all the press he’s done Stateside of late. He’s incredibly sharp, articulate and affable, exactly the qualities you’d want in someone who will represent your country’s culture to the rest of the world on the biggest stage imaginable.

Explains Marty via Facebook (also embedded below): “Today, I was inaugurated by the Japanese Government Agency of Cultural Affairs as an Ambassador of Japan Heritage. I’m honored behind belief and am proud to carry on its responsibility through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Congratulations, Marty! Must’ve been damn cool to jam with Ringo Starr recently, too.

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