Costume players from China, Italy and Brazil paid a courtesy call Wednesday on the Foreign Ministry, expressing their excitement about competing at the 11th World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya.
Three pairs dressed in the costumes of their favorite characters from Japanese anime, manga and video games met with Parliamentary Vice Minister Kenta Wakabayashi ahead of Saturday’s contest, which will draw performers from Japan and 19 other countries.
“While you have already become good friends of Japan who understand it well, I hope you take this opportunity to become a bridge to connect your home country and Japan,” Wakabayashi said during a meeting with the performers.
Chen Xiaoying, a young Chinese woman who dressed like a character from the “Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle” manga series, said that current soured Japan-China ties do not affect her pursuit of cosplay.
“When I first did cosplay, the trouble between Japan and China was quite worrisome, but I’m cosplaying with courage because this is what I like doing,” she said. “Issues between Japan and China don’t matter to me.”
The ministry has supported the annual event as an important tool to disseminate Japanese pop culture overseas. The foreign minister’s award will be given to the winner of Saturday’s cosplay championship, which is part of the nine-day event that began last Saturday in Nagoya.