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Friday, 6th July 2012
In Japan Entertainment News,

Cartoon characters a $30 billion industry in Japan

Cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty and Pokemon are almost as synonymous with Japan as sushi, and research from the Yano Research Institute helps explain why.

According to a report by AFP, the institute has revealed that the cute character industry was worth a staggering $30 billion in the 12 months to March 2011, with the Japanese spending more on character merchandise than they do on books.

Furthermore, this figure actually represents a decline of 1.7 per cent on the year prior, though this is largely attributed to a decline in population size.

Licensed characters have become a major part of Japanese culture, and while big names such Pikachu are the most well-known, less famous characters can be seen far and wide and a recent convention attracted 120,000 people to the city of Gifu.

"Even in adulthood, we find no mental block to them and think they are cute," 38-year-old Aki Kamikara told the news agency when visiting the event.

Written by Graham McPherson

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