Monday, December 13, 2004

AFP or The Onion, you make the call

With its films and cartoons drawing strong followings abroad, Japan should promote its "Gross National Cool" as a tool of foreign policy, experts advised Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

But the country also needs to help young people to better understand their own language and culture so they can promote Japanese thinking abroad, the Japan Forum on International Relations said in a report.

. . .

"Japan has developed a full range of admired cultural resources, from the Japanese sense of beauty appreciated since the mid-19th century by foreigners such as Lafcadio Hearn and Bruno Taut to today's movies and anime," it said.

. . .

More recently, Japanese culture has won worldwide acclaim through manga cartoons, computer games and movies, with Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" last year winning the Academy Award for best animated feature.

Kind of reminds me of that other report: "How will we develop awareness of the U.S. "brand" in terms of its constituents and audience?"

Come to think of it, that could make a good blog tag line: Gross national cool...

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