"I come to Japan Expo Paris since its beginning because I'm a fan of manga since childhood. It is the only time of year when you find yourself among people who have the same passion".
French Fan of Manga and cosplay.
The largest annual Japan Expo showcasing the country’s pop arts and subculture opened in a Paris suburb on Thursday, with up to 180,000 people expected to attend during its four-day run.
Morning Musume, a Japanese pop idol group, will give its first live performance at the event, which will also draw Tsukasa Hojo, writer and illustrator of City Hunter, a hardboiled manga cartoon series, and Hideo Kojima, creator of the popular Metal Gear Solid video game series, among other participants.
A performance in Tokyo featuring songs from well-known anime series will also be broadcast live at the event. The first Japan Expo was held by Japanese pop culture enthusiasts in France in 2000, with about 3,000 people attending. Since then, the event has grown in size, and now involves the governments of both Japan and France and firms in related industries.
Japanese Popular Culture is now a program for universities studies undergraduates in Tokyo, where they focus their academics on studies of Japanese popular culture.
Japanese officials sponsor the Paris fiesta
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) are collaborating together to participate in the Japan Expo Paris 2010, which will be held in Paris, France from July 1 to 4. The Japan Expo is one of the world’s largest international events celebrating Japanese pop culture, where over 160,000 young people interested in Japanese pop trends are expected to gather from all over the world. Various forms of modern Japanese culture including manga (comics), anime (animation), video games, music and fashion will be introduced there. There will also be some booths introducing Japanese sports such as a martial arts booth and a batting cage. To take the greatest advantage of this occasion where many young people who are interested in Japan are expected to gather, MOFA, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, METI and JTA will mutually collaborate to harness and lever Japan’s soft power through exhibitions." End of quotes of the very serious METI ministry.
Sources: agencies, Jp Times, knackes.com, www.meti.go.jp, Reporter's notes