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The Tokyo International Arts Festival (TIF) this year presents an eclectic and fascinating program of dance and theater from Argentina, Switzerland and Belgium. Having admitting that the festival — in its current form since 2002 — is under financial constraints due to lack of arts funding and a flawed subsidy system, the organizers deserve credit for producing such a strong and diverse schedule.

The conspicuous absence of any Japanese performers due to the aforementioned funding trouble is, according to program director Chiaki Soma, “deeply regrettable.” She hopes, however, that the represented foreign contingent will be an inspiration to any Japanese artists who want to participate in future programs.

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