Japan is seeking to project its soft power through the allure of manga and anime in its public diplomacy. The production, diffusion and global consumption of manga and anime are driven by market forces and consumer tastes and not by the Japanese state. However, the latter is seeking to harness this popular culture to burnish Tokyos international image. Despite the attractiveness of Japanese pop culture and other more traditional forms of public diplomacy, Tokyos pursuit of soft power and a good international image is undermined by its failure to overcome its burden of history.
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