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KUMAMOTO, Japan, June 25 /Kyodo JBN/ —
Kumamoto Brand Promotion Division, Kumamoto Prefecture
PR Character "KUMAMON" to Participate in "Japan Expo" for First Time
"KUMAMON," Kumamoto Prefecture’s PR character, will participate in "the 14th Japan Expo" to be held at Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte (North Paris-Villepinte Exposition Park) in France to publicize Kumamoto. This will be KUMAMON’s first participation in Japan Expo.
Japan Expo is the largest Japanese culture and entertainment festival in Europe. At the 13th exhibition last year, it drew more than 219,000 visitors and became widely known not only in Europe but also in other countries.
1. Period of exhibition
July 4-7, 2013
Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte
(North Paris-Villepinte Exposition Park)
3. Outline of KUMAMON’s participation
(1) KUMAMON will participate in the culture stage to perform "KUMAMON exercise" and "KUMAMON-MON dance."
(2) In cooperation with Kumamoto City, the prefecture will run a booth to publicize Kumamoto.
KUMAMON will visit German company Steiff, which released Teddy bear KUMAMON in May.
What is "KUMAMON"?
Japanese local governments usually publicize themselves using their unique characters, and KUMAMON is the most popular one. It was born in 2010, and in 2011, won the first prize in Japan at "Mascot Character GRAND PRIX," where most local government characters competed with one another.
The KUMAMON-related products sales for 2012 exceeded 2.93 billion yen and KUMAMON has been expanding scope of activities across the border. Not to mention collaboration with Japanese major companies, German toy company Steiff recently released 1,500 limited Teddy bear KUMAMON and only a few seconds later they were sold out.
What is "Japan Expo"?
The organizer is JTS GROUP COMPANY. In 1999, a few French youths who were passionate admirers of Japanese culture thought of a grand plan and held an event specializing in "manga" (cartoon) and traditional culture, which were unfamiliar in France back then, and current Japanese culture. That was the beginning of Japan Expo and it succeeded splendidly. In 2007, it became the largest Japanese culture and entertainment festival in Europe.
In 2012, about 70 companies and organizations such as Japan Tourism Agency, Toei and Nintendo participated, and the number of visitor exceeded 200,000.
Source: Kumamoto Brand Promotion Division, Kumamoto Prefecture