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Pow! What Could Happen If Japanese ‘Cool’ Rode The Wave Of China's Industrial Boom

Analysis: As Japan tries to regain its late 20th century prowess in cultural exports, it should look next door to the steamrolling Chinese economy: both as a market and an industrial resource. A soft-power plan to conquer the world.

An Astro Boy poster
An Astro Boy poster
Daisuke Kondo

BEIJING – Culture and entertainment can sneak onto center stage in both global economics and diplomacy. Take the recent opening of the Japan Anime Festival 2011 in Beijing, where Japanese Foreign Minister Genba Koizumi and Chinese Cultural Minister Cai Wu shared their own childhood memories of watching manga films.

From the Astro Boy science fiction series of the 1960s to the latest Crayon Shin-chan, Japan's animation industry – not to mention related phenomena such as Hello Kitty or Nintendo electronic games – still exerts global influence.

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Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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