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France's Japan Expo to Start Con in California Late Next Summer

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
SEFA event hopes for 12,000-15,000 attendees at 1st U.S. con

Sean Chiochankitmun, CEO and Chairman of SEFA Entertainment, revealed at France's Japan Expo on Thursday that the first Japan Expo USA event will be held in California late next summer.

SEFA Entertainment is the United States subsidiary of SEFA Event, the organization that hosts the Japan Expo, Japan Expo Sud, Japan Expo Centre, and Japan Expo Belgium events. Japan Expo USA plans to bring in convention staff members from major United States events. Chiochankitmun is the former president of Otakorp and a three-time chair of Otakon. Michael Lee, Production Manager for Otakon and Director of Technical Operations for Anime Boston, will join Japan Expo USA's staff.

The 2013 event hopes to gain 12,000 to 15,000 unique attendees. Chiochankitmun said, "It's an ambitious target that we hope to hit. We're hoping that the guests we bring will be enough to let people know who we are and put us on the radar for anime conventions in the USA. We want people to know that they should attend Japan Expo USA."

Japan Expo 2012 is being held at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center from July 5-8. This year's guests include manga creators Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys), Natsumi Aida (Switch Girl!!, Kakumei Kyōshitsu), Tetsuya Saruwatari (Riki-Oh, Shootfighter Tekken), and Toshio Maeda (Urotsukidoji, La Blue Girl), as well as Macross character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto, model/singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, rock band FLOW, and Rockman/Mega Man co-designer Keiji Inafune. Except for 2005, France's Japan Expo has taken place every year since 2000. The 2011 event attracted about 125,000 unique attendees.

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