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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Taste of cool Japan

The global Cool Japan festival will kick off here with food tastings, clothing and pop culture events
The Straits Times - October 8, 2011
By: Nicholas Yong
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Taste of cool Japan Cool Japan Month will include Harajuku fashion, one of the brands that will be showcased at Harajuku Street Style, and performances by shamisen band Kuni-Ken and anime song artist LiSA. -- PHOTO: COOL JAPAN MONTH RECEPTION PARTY

Get ready to taste, watch and wear the best of Japan as the inaugural Cool Japan month comes to town.

It is part of a 1 billion yen (almost S$17 million) campaign in eight countries, including China, Brazil and the United States, to revitalise the Japanese brand in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March that devastated northern Japan.

Singapore will be the launchpad for the project, which will see a festival with a different focus in each country.

For example, a Cool Japan festival in Mumbai in March next year will focus on Japanese luxury brands and jewellery. There is no end date for the campaign yet.

Cool Japan ( here will focus mainly on fashion, food and anime, with smaller events related to music, travel and cinema. While most of the events here will end by the middle of next month, some will stretch till February.

The event kicked off yesterday with the launch of Harajuku Street Style, a pop-up store on the third and fourth floors of Tangs Orchard until January.

Named after the popular shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo, Harajuku will carry 15 Japanese apparel brands such as Dammy and KBF. The pop-up store will make way next year for a permanent one in Orchard Road. Harajuku is the result of a collaboration between home-grown street- wear brand 77th Street and AWCG Ltd, which currently represents 15 of the Harajuku brands.

Other events for Cool Japan include Ganbarou Nippon: Taste Of Japan, which will feature food tastings and workshops, and next month's Anime Festival Asia, both at Suntec. Pop culture personalities such as anime song artist LiSA, shamisen (a three-stringed instrument) band Kuni-Ken and illustrator Haruhiko Mikimoto will be in town as part of Cool Japan.

Mr Tetsuya Watanabe from Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, who is in charge of the global Cool Japan project, explained why Singapore was chosen to launch the campaign: 'Singapore is the region's hub with a strong business network that extends throughout the region.'

The initiative was planned before the March disaster, he said, but it had affected the project. 'We have to make strenuous efforts to provide objective information about the safety of Japanese products and services.'



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