Courtesy Call on Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Kenta Wakabayashi by Representatives of Countries Participating in the World Cosplay Summit 2013
On July 31, Mr. Kenta Wakabayashi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs received a courtesy call from the representatives of China (Ms. Chen Xiaoying, Ms. Wang Wenqian), Italy (Mr. Andrea Vesnaver, Mr. Massimo Barbera) and Brazil (Mr. Maurício Somenzari, Ms. Mônica Somenzari). They visited the Ministry as representatives of 20 countries attending the World Cosplay Summit 2013.
At the beginning of the meeting, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Wakabayashi said that the Ministry is promoting international cultural exchanges via pop culture, from the standpoint of international youth exchange and mutual understanding, and that he is expecting a high performance at the competition by the representative teams at the Cosplay Summit, which marks the 11th time this year. Further, he hoped, during this visit to Japan, the representatives will experience not only the field of pop culture but also various other aspects of Japan including traditional culture. He also hoped that upon returning home, they will further deepen their understanding of Japan by studying the Japanese language, etc., and will play active roles as the bridges for the next generation between Japan and their home countries.
Each representative spoke enthusiastically about the characters they play, the reasons they began cosplay, and their thoughts on Japanese manga and animation, revealing the strong popularity Japanese pop culture enjoys worldwide. A representative from China said that she believes culture crosses national borders, and that she is delighted to enjoy cosplay genuinely, regardless of nationality. A representative from Italy said that he is interested in not only in pop culture but also Japan’s traditional culture, and so will enjoy this visit. A representative from Brazil said this marks the fifth visit and does the third time to participate in the Cosplay Summit. He also described the pleasure of portraying someone, changing his original character through cosplay.