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Authorities block Fuhrer-themed pachinko machine

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Japan's patent office has rejected a request by pachinko machine manufacturer Fuji Shoji to grant a trademark for one of its pinball machines carrying an Adolf Hitler theme. Neither will Moses nor Abraham Lincoln brighten up the country's pachinko parlours after they too were dismissed as part of a 35-name list deemed likely to "disrupt public order and morals". The Nazi dictator was singled out for special attention as a character which might "violate the spirit of Japan’s pacifist post-war constitution".

A red-faced spokesman for Fuji Shoji said: "When we name new products, we always try to have an edge against our competitors. It was supposed to be a parody but we failed to pay close attention." He said that the names had been picked at random from among the world's famous faces.

Celebrities who already delight dedicated pachinko punters include the Pink Panther and characters from Thunderbirds. Comic-book heros are apparently popular, too, although Adolf the National Socialist Aryan Superman will not now feature among them. ®

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