Rascal the Raccoon was a cartoon that debuted in Japan in 1977. The adventures of a cute, funny, lovable racoon was an immediate hit in Japan. Here's the intro.
Why wouldn't everyone want a pet like Rascal? Approximately two thousand raccoons were imported before the government recognized the problem and banned it. They were too late.
What do people do with unwanted exotic pets? There is now a thriving population of raccoons in Japan. Raccoons are known to exist in every prefacture. There are no natural predators.