Power Play

Japan needs more than anime to stay ahead in South-east Asia

While polls show Japan being viewed as more trustworthy and likeable than China, it is slipping in economic and political clout

Cosplayers dressed as characters from Naruto at the Anime Festival Asia in Singapore in 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE
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TOKYO – On Friday, Singapore will host the three-day Anime Festival Asia, where fans can hobnob with their favourite Japanese cosplayers in an event that had drawn 120,000 visitors in 2019, its last physical event before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Typically an annual affair, Anime Festival Asia comprises anime conventions held in various parts of South-east Asia and a main event in Singapore that is touted as the largest Japanese pop culture festival in the region.

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