Photo/IllutrationAn image of the moving Gundam is unveiled at a news conference on Nov. 21 in Tokyo. (Hiroyuki Takei)

YOKOHAMA--An 18-meter moving statue of the Gundam robot will be built at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama Port to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the popular “Mobile Suit Gundam” animated TV series.

The “life-size” robot will be available for public viewing for about a year from summer 2020, Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. and two other companies said at a news conference in Tokyo.

The project is currently in design stage.

Experts of robotics and the latest in other technologies are taking a shot at the “ultimate dream” of making a moving Gundam, officials said.

“We can’t say how much it can move just yet,” Yasuo Miyakawa, representative director of Gundam Global Challenge, a general incorporated association in charge of producing the statue, said. “We’d like everyone to enjoy it from its production process (at the site).”

The city government will allow temporary use of the exhibition venue in Yokohama’s Naka Ward, with municipal officials collaborating to host events.

The original “Gundam” anime show started airing in 1979, followed by many other series. A life-size Gundam statue was created in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district to mark the 30th anniversary of the anime in 2009.

The “hotel ship” initiative, under which large cruise ships will be used to accommodate tourists, is also planned at Yamashita Pier during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

“It will be a good opportunity to promote the charms of Yokohama to the world,” Deputy Mayor Yuri Arakida said.