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Tokyo Int'l Anime Fair to Return March 22-25, 2012

posted on by Egan Loo
TAF to be held at Tokyo Big Sight after March quake cancelled this year's event

The executive committee of Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) announced on Friday that the event will return next year from March 22 to March 25. TAF will once again take place at East Halls 1, 2, 3, and other venues at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center on Odaiba island at Tokyo Bay. As in previous years, the first two days are business days that are only open to industry and press representatives, while the last two days are public days that are open to everyone.

This year's TAF was cancelled five days after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster of March 11. If it had been held, it would have run from March 24 to March 27 of this year.

According to the rescheduled Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai 8 event, Tokyo Big Sight suffered unspecified damage during the earthquake. However, the center has since temporarily housed earthquake evacuees and held several events.

This year's TAF became part of a controversy due to Tokyo Metropolitan Government's amendment to its Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The amendment is expanding the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is a major advocate of the amended Healthy Development Ordinance and the head of the executive committee for the TAF. (Ishihara has since been reelected to a fourth term in April.)

The media company Kadokawa Shoten was the first to publicly cancel its TAF display this year, followed by boycott by Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kodansha, and other major manga publishers. Several anime and manga companies worked together to establish a new convention, the Anime Contents Expo (ACE), which was set to take place the same weekend as this year's TAF at Chiba's Makuhari Messe. However, this year's ACE was also cancelled one day after TAF's cancellation.

The organizers of ACE cited the soil liquefaction in the Makuhari district, the planned power blackouts, the disorder in the transportation systems, and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as the primary reasons for this year's cancellation. However, Makuhari Messe has since held several events.

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