METI rolls out ‘Cool Japan’ spring events to promote food, art and fashion

Kyodo

A series of spring events to promote Japanese food, art and fashion has kicked off in Tokyo as part of the “Cool Japan” campaign, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Among the upcoming events in Tokyo are “Ginza Fashion Week,” a tieup project of two rival department stores in the ritzy Ginza district that will feature Japan-made denim, and “Roppongi Art Night,” where artworks will be displayed in the Roppongi district, including pieces made by internationally acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama.

The events are sponsored by companies, universities and other groups that are working toward making the capital a leading hub for creative industries in Asia, METI said last week.

“We hope to move step by step to brighten up Tokyo and to let the world know that Japan is attractive,” METI official Tetsuya Watanabe said at a news conference.

Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi and a key promoter of the moves, called for a nationwide push to make various things and places more accessible to foreign visitors, such as by providing information not only in English but also in Chinese or Korean.

Nanjo also lamented that while mass-produced items such as Japanese cars are well-known in other countries, high-quality goods produced in very small amounts remain relatively obscure.

“There is a need to offer information widely to other countries about such ‘real finds,’ ” he added.

“Ginza Fashion Week” will be held between March 21 and 27 at the Ginza flagship stores of Mitsukoshi Ltd. and Matsuya Co. “Roppongi Art Night” will take place from 10 a.m. March 24 to 6 p.m. March 25.

Another event, “Tokyo Premium Project,” which features art collectors, chefs and fashion experts working in collaboration, began Jan. 27.