30 May '12, 12pm

#Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy

#Japan bets on overseas 'Japantowns' to boost economy

By Kyoko Hasegawa AFP Wednesday, May 30, 2012 TOKYO - Japan is hoping to cash in on its rich culture by recreating fashionable districts of Tokyo in foreign cities, determined that enclaves of vibrant shops, cafes and restaurants can find new markets abroad. For decades, exports have been the driving force behind the world's third largest economy with brands like Toyota and Sony becoming household names around the globe. But a key plank in the government's "Cool Japan" strategy, which launched last year, is to transplant Tokyo's trendy districts overseas, taking the shops to the customers instead of bringing the customers to the shops. It could see quirky areas like shopping district Harajuku pop up in cities around the world, boosting Japan's brand overseas and helping to reverse the nation's flagging fortunes. Harajuku is known for a subculture in which young women dress...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Asia/Story/A1Sto...

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